September 27th, 2006


Bus travel, NYC hotels, and journalism

Hi, everyone. :) I just found this community and, after fighting with Google for awhile, decided to ask some questions here.

1. When traveling from another state (in this case, Ohio) to the Port Authority bus station in New York City, where do you end up, and how do you get your luggage? Does the bus park outside on the street or in a lot, and you wait for the bus driver to take your luggage out from underneath the bus, or what? Also, once you have your luggage, would you then go into the terminal, or, if you're out on the street already, would you just try to get a cab?

2. Is it possible to find a hotel room in Manhattan (I was thinking the Lower East Side, maybe?) for a reasonable price? (By that, I mean, like, $50 to $100 a night.) It's possible that I was looking in the wrong places, but the best I could find was $249/night, and my character needs something a little cheaper. Are there any cheap, even cheap-and-crappy, hotels in Manhattan? Or would my character need to go to Brooklyn or somewhere to find a more affordable place to stay?

3. At a large newspaper, would any reporters have their own offices, or would everyone work at desks in a newsroom? Again, it's possible I've been poking around in the wrong places, but while I've found stuff on reporting and newsrooms in general and how to write for a newspaper, I haven't found anything about what the day-to-day life of a reporter would be like.

Thanks in advance! And if anyone has any websites to recommend dealing with NYC or what it's like to be a reporter, I'd be incredibly grateful for links. :)
  • shadowa


I have some questions about heroin and heroin addiction.

1) How long do the effects of heroin last when a person has just begun taking it for the first time?
2) How quickly can one get addicted to heroin?  That is, I have a character who begins taking heroin on a Wednesday, gets into it pretty heavy, and takes it quite excessively right off the bat. On the following Sunday, her friends force her to stop taking it.  I need to know how difficult this would be for her.

Now here's a more personal one, a touchy subject I realize:
Can anyone share (from personal experience or from the experience of those you know) experiences of getting off heroin?

I think that's all on heroin for now.  I also was wondering about what it's like to get off speed (amphetamine sufate).  My character did it for a couple of months, got off it for a month, then began doing it again. After another month, he managed to get off again and stay off. I'm wondering what the experience would be like.  While we're on speed (haha) I suppose it would be useful to also hear what it's like while you're on it, what it's like when you're coming down off the high, etc.

I hope this doesn't offend anyone, I realize it's not exactly a cheerful subject.


Bruised kidneys

I've found some information about bruised kidneys, but its usually piled up with information about more severe injuries, and I'm not quite sure which symptoms fall where, and it would be helpful if someone could describe personal experience.

The character was in a fight, and not only took what the websites call a "straddle" injury, he got punched at least once in the back. By the end of the day, I'm figuring he might have blood in the urine, but I don't want him hurt so badly that the doctor hospitalizes him (or at least not so badly that he can't talk his way out of the hospital) -- a week or two of bedrest, lots of liquids, and pain medication is what I'm aiming for, with a bit of anxiety about "what if this gets worse".

How bad is the pain? Is it reasonable for it to start a while after the injury? Would there be a fever, and would he need antibiotics? And what tests would the doctor want to do (circa 1977)?
Books hazy

preserving wine by boiling it?

Hi everyone,

one of my Ancient Egyptian characters (18th Dynasty) is drinking wine, which led me to research vintages, wine production, and the like. I came across this bit of (to me) puzzling information:

"Wooden barrels (a Celtic invention) were unknown in ancient times in the Mediterranean region and earthen jars used for ageing the wine. In order to prevent it from going bad, it was boiled or poured into new jars" (quoted from

I know very little about wine production, so pretty much all of this is a surprise to me, beginning with the suggestion that it's possible to preserve wine by means of wooden barrels. More important for my story, though: Why would pouring wine into new jars prevent it from spoiling? And while I understand that boiling can prevent spoiling, doesn't that do away with the alcohol?