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23 July 2009

Albany NY

Mo says, "an owl and a bunny went to Albany".

A view of the Hudson

It's a *very* pretty ride, and we both got seats on the good (west) side of the train. It's amazing how quickly a city of millions gives way to a sparsely-populated expanse of water and trees. Sailboats are scattered picturesquely about.

Safely on the train

after a half-mad rush through the subway. Morning rush hour was, thankfully, merciful. Epic confusion in Penn Station of the "where in god's name anre the amtrack trains" variety in the *dead midst* of morning rush hour. Nonetheless, success with minutes to spare! No assigned seating, and Mo and i get split, which is probably for the best at this point. We're both borderline hungover, dangerously caffeinated, and tragically sleep-deprived. But we are safe, and the train is spacious and relaxed, and the aforementioned pbr begins to sing its sweet siren song from the bag, otherwise known as "late lunch"...

A last look @ Williamsburg

We eat a hurried few bites in front of our heap of bags. Very pretty morning, the air is misty and thick. We're told that a tropical depression is in-bound, that it will starting raining around noon and continue for days. We'll be safely on the train by then. Good timing.

The swank Williamsburg Apt

Where we stayed. Very cozy, replete with romantic fire escape to sit on in the cool evening air.

Some of our luggage

that we will haul on our backs through the tunnels to Penn Station. Amomng other indispensables? 9 cans of pbr. Not light.

Good morning sunshine

After a few hours of sleep, we crawl towards breakdast, Penn station, and Canada.

22 July 2009

Happy Hour

We savor the peace of having not killed each other during the long, hot day. Cold Brooklyn Brewery lager and smoking on the non-smoking, zoo-cage patio is the perfect pairing with this moment of foot-blissed circumspection.

I didn't take this picture

It's actually a still frame from the Matrix, a scene that ended up on the editing room floor. Mo was too fast for the cameras. From what I've heard, technology is catching up. Until then we'll have to settle for Keanu and special effects...

Rush hour

to Brooklyn on the L. I got some annoyed looks for pointing a camera at folks. See previous post r.e. subway confrontation avoidance...

Rachael's Hypothesis

of New Yorkers' fetish with shoes is that everyone looks down while riding the subway, and this makes shoes a dominant mode of slef-expression. I lose in this game, but my feet don't ache too bad after a long day's stroll...

Subways don't kill people

People kill people (or themselves), as the saying goes.

Ok, i'm a big fat train dork. Sense of power, hint of danger as the beast rushes up with a gust of air, smell of electric motors and oil, the subterranean labyrinth. I'd definitely rather live here than in the Mall of America in some post-apocalyptic future? Seen "Dark Days"? If not, it will in all likelyhood forever change the way you see subway tunnels. Oh, and there's a book from the late 80s or early 90s, "Slake's something"...

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I can respect a city that leaves large piles of trash lying conspicuously around before removal.

Years ago (2004?) i was wandering through Central Park, up towards Harlem i think, and i discovered the Park's composting facilities. It was a 5 year old's dream, a leaf pile the size of a castle (albeit shredded and rapidly decomposing), french drain-style aeration pipes threaded throughout. It was spring, cold still, with the last crocuses and the first daffodils blooming, and there was a great quantity of microbially-warmed air pouring forth from this mountain of leaves. It totally changed the way i saw Central Park *and* composting.

A counting clock

Looking south past union station. The clock is counting something awefully fast... microseconds since Bush left office?

Not Square

I have this thing for oblique-cornered buildings - fond memories from Prince Ave in Athens? ABQ is pretty square; we don't have these...

Hiding from the sun

As it beat down upon us. Found an unairconditioned goodwill to try on polyester blazers in - downright swampy! Scored some good clothes for cheap, though. This is our idea of souvenirs - things we can wear, "yeah, i went shopping in downtown Manhattan last summer"... not the pinnacle of fashion, goodwill, but it will suffice for us!

Looking Uptown

Big roads, big buildings. Saw a ghostbike near here. Mo was wondering how often people get killed on bikes in Manhattan. Now we know - 14 in 2008. Per capita, I'm guessing that's less than ABQ...

Credit Unions Weather Financial Storm

Whether Ukrainia weathers Putin remains to be seen...

The Daylilies of Stuyvesant Square @ 15th st & Perlman

We made it to Manhattan, all 3 minutes away by the L train. A break in the shade, cool breeze moving in. I haven't seen so many nice trees all in the same place in a long time...

Williamsburg Coffeehouse Bathroom

Public restrooms rare - this one came with coffee, a nice window-seat view of the street, and sweet ipod hipster music that was accidentally stopped when i asked who a song was by... Looking @ music schedule in the Viilage Voice makes me want time/$$ to see shows. Cool stuff, $10. Pocket flask? $6 pints are rough!

8am train out of Penn Station tomorrow, so no late night tonight. Still jet/sleep-schedule-lagged...

Picked up a 6 pack of Dogfish Head 60min IPA last night for $13, warm 12pk of pbr for $9 on Bedford St. Cold pbr was a dollar more. Strangely enough, i saw 12pks of warm natural light for $6.50 today in RiteAid. What? Beer that fell off the back of the truck? This is Brooklyn, after all. $0.50 a beer even for the cheapest of packaged corporate swill seems a little odd.

this one's for mike d

Brooklyn bug, replete with authentic art.

21 July 2009

Alive if damp at Laguardia

We're in NYC! Yay! Awesome seatmate advised us extensively. Life is good, if blearyily sleep-deprived.

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Houston Airport Smokers Lounge

yes, that would be outside.

It amazes me that the city of choice for NASA mission control and a major hub airport is so perpetually overcast. Air like peanut butter, with some hot, dirty mopwater mixed in for good measure.

Continental staff is a rather moribund crew. Our 1.5 hr layover has magically extended itself an hour - its shaping up to be a long day, what with impromptu going away party and all. Still, if we get there i'll be happy.

Traveling with green machine, trying to download MTA subway maps. I forgot my credit card sized MTA map at home. Alas. I *did* remember my passport, which is still valid ('til 2016, which makes me wonder what the world will look like then...).

Cool-looking Brooklyn couchsurfers and a big bag of homemade snacks for the airport wait 'til then. Not Texas, here we come!

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thus we begin!

houston to nyc to montreal and back, lord willing!