It was 64F when I arrived. The next morning it snowed and the temperature never again climbed above freezing.
Thanks tto the cold, this was very much a trip of specific destinations rather than my usual random wandering. I’d already planned to hit several museums, and I ended up doing most of my traveling on the subway rather than on foot. But it was lots of fun, and I did get some significant strolling in.
- Seeing my friend Margo and exploring Brooklyn a bit.
- The Transit Museum. Loved it. Seriously.
- Riding the ten-week-old Second Avenue Subway.
- A snow-covered Union Square.
- Having, maybe for the first time, a hotel room with a view of something other than the airshaft or the back of the next building.
- Food. Books. Etc.
- My new favorite parking spot on Staten Island.
Random thoughts about New York, danger, middle age, and other things coming in another post. For now, here are pretty pictures:
It was 64F when I came in on the Staten Island Ferry an hour ago a little over 12 hours from now there may be one to 3 inches of snow on the ground. And then, a low of 18F tomorrow night. Go figure…
Prerogative of being middle-aged and single with no dependents (human or otherwise): after discussing the idea for 30 seconds with a friend at dinner, I just decided to have a long weekend in New York in about three weeks. I will visit friends, buy books, and see this. I got a great deal on a room in a very nice hotel centrally located between two subway lines. From decision to execution took all of 30 minutes.
Another prerogative: I can change my mind just as easily as I made the decision in the first place, with no repercussions or arguments whatsoever.
La vie c’est bon!
I really find Lynchburg kind of intriguing. It’s a shame it carries all that Jerry Falwell/Liberty University baggage that makes me (and I imagine much of America) reluctant to visit. It has very much a small-scale Pittsburgh vibe, from the topography to the impossibly large Victorian mansions in Rivermont. It’s a parent there was a lot of money there a hundred years or so back. There’s some great architecture, and the view from the park on the other side of the river is really nice.
I think a lot of people expect Virginia to be very southern and pastoral and bucolic, and there is certainly that aspect of it, but most of urban Virginia — not just the western cities of Roanoke and Lynchburg but also places like Richmond, Hampton, and Newport News — feels considerably more Rust Belt than Sun Belt.
Maybe a full weekend soon. Given two days in Lynchburg, I should finally be able to find at least one decent place to eat there, right?
Today’s lessons from a very productive day that also involves a new dishwasher and getting these damned stitches out of my gums:
- Do not speed in or around Emporia, Virginia. It’s a pretty notorious speed trap, and a minor violation in Virginia can become a major one hack home in North Carolina.
- If you ignore rule #1, it apparently helps a lot not to have had any convictions for moving violations in the past 25 years. But you still probably need a lawyer.
Not that I’ve gained any of this knowledge firsthand or anything…
Cold. Gray. Rainy. Book. Blanket. Ocean.
Roamed around Cleveland a bit in the morning, and then headed south through Ohio and West Virginia. Made a quick drive-through tour of Parkersburg, barely even slowed down for Charleston, and had dinner in the most depressing Long John Silver’s ever in Princeton. Finally made it home around 10.
(Apologies for another recycled social media post.)
I was sitting in a diner in Niagara Falls this morning having a late breakfast. The Remembrance Day ceremonies were playing on the TV, and when they came to the moment of silence, everyone in the restaurant, including the servers stopped in their tracks and silently looked up at the screen.
It was not obnoxious or jingoistic, just a quiet and reflective display of respect. I found it quite moving. But it also made me worry that my fellow Americans might be losing the knack for such dignified displays, particularly in light of this week’s election.
But yeah, I’m still coming back…
Stopped by Loblaws (or Zehr’s, which is the Niagara Falls branding thereof) for my last minute stock-up, and found that everything I needed was on sale by some miracle. Uneventful border crossing, followed by one last book binge in Niagara Falls NY. Then came the three-hour drive to Cleveland, where I’m spending the night. No exploring for me tonight. I got Chinese takeout, and I’m going to sit here eating it and reading one of my three trillion new books. As luck would have it, I appear not to be getting sick like I thought I was yesterday.