So I went to NYC this week for a movie press day, and it was a fantastic 24 hours.

Really, there’s only two things that would’ve made the trip better…1)Will being along for all the fun and 2)a little more time to play. Oh, and tickets to a couple of Broadway shows wouldn’t have hurt either.

But despite my very limited time (and no time for theater), it was really fun wandering around the streets of Manhattan. For starters, the people watching is absolutely fabulous.

Being there during the week (rather than the tourist-packed weekend) was certainly a plus since I got to see everyone in his/her working element. Now for a few observations… In addition to getting loads of free unsolicited stock advice (yeah, I’ll be putting that to good use sometime soon…ha ha), I saw a financial guru skillfully juggling three cell phones and actually maintaining three separate conversations with a phone in each hand and a Bluetooth in his ear. Needless to say, I was in awe because I can barely walk and keep a call going with one sad little outdated Motorola.

I also noticed the whole Carrie Bradshaw effect is still in full force when it comes to women’s footwear. Working or not, the women of NYC don’t opt for practical, even if they walk blocks and blocks and blocks every single day. Needless to say, my sensible flats weren’t exactly making a fashion statement with everyone else wearing sky-high heels. I sooo wanted to ask one of these girls just how they do the fashion over function thing every day (I mean, I used to be one of those girls—sans Manolos, of course), but I kept my mouth shut. I wasn’t having too much luck talking to strangers, anyway, because I kept saying “excuse me” when I was making my way through the crowded streets, an obvious faux pas that earned me plenty of eye rolls and a couple of sighs.

See, these people have places to go, so if you bump into someone while doing so, oh well. Given my polite Wisconsin upbringing, I just couldn’t kick my “excuse me” habit. And when a guy opened a door for me at Starbucks, my instinctive “thank you” garnered a pretty funny response, too. Note to self: When in NYC, don’t be too nice.

Another important thing to have is a Blackberry, preferably with a leopard print cover. They beat the iPhone out by a long shot in the big city. Aside from the wrong footwear, the wrong phone and my propensity for saying “please,” “thank you” and “excuse me,” I feel like I blended in relatively well. I didn’t even have to ask for directions once, a minor miracle for my directionally challenged self.

As for the movie I saw while I was there, well, it was actually a winner, too (a rare exception this year considering all the bad movie reviews I’ve seen). Turns out that Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs the movie was just as fun as the zany children’s book that inspired it in the first place. And for once, the 3D actually added to the story, just in case you were curious.

Now that I’m back in downtown St. Paul, our city just feels lame in comparison. I haven’t heard the constant beeping of car horns or the clack, clack, clack of hundreds of pairs of stilettos, but when I said “excuse me” to a neighbor I walked in front of, she didn’t look at me funny, so that’s something, right?

P.S. If you’re in NYC and looking for a great Italian lunch, I highly recommend Caffé Linda on East 49th. I had the most delicious caprese panini and lentil soup and was extremely proud of my willpower when I passed up the orange panna cotta for dessert. I’m guessing it would’ve been equally remarkable.