I really hate to fly, so I have found myself willing to drive extreme distances in order to avoid boarding a plane. I'm not afraid of flying...I just hate the hastle. I do love to ride trains though...I'm on one right now on my way back to Washington D.C. from New York.
I had no idea New Jersey had so much wetlands.
I just did a whirlwind 36 hour run through Manhattan...I wasn't mentally ready for it. The moment I walked up the stairs at Penn Station into the sunlight, the city just slapped me in the face. My mind was still with my family who I just got back into New Orleans in July. This was the first trip I've had to be away from them since they got back. I just wasn't ready for the hustle and bustle. I immediately ran for an Irish Bar right across the street and downed a couple Harp to calm my nerves...ok, maybe 3...or 4.
Normally I love coming to the Big Apple, I just wasn't in the state of mind to deal with it this time. I've just been enjoying staying holed up with my family for the past couple of months...I didn't want to leave them. I wasn't in the state of mind to do the New York groove....forgive me Space Ace. I was having a Jimmy Buffett "four lonely days in the brown L.A. haze" moment...or in my case, "34 lonely hours among the looming New York towers" moment.
One funny note...I was leaving NYU where I was at a forum and I got on the subway at West 4th Avenue. I hop on the train to go to Penn Station, I look up, and I see one of my friends who is an artist from New Orleans. He moved to NYC after the storm and decided to stay. How crazy is it that? You go to a city of 8 million people and you randomly run into somebody you know.
I love New York, but it really made me appreciate my life in New Orleans even more. I guess I'm still a country mouse at heart.
The last time I was in New York, last year, I remember feeling oddly depressed that there seemed to be just endless prosperity.
In my mind I was contrasting it to years ago when you had to step over winos bodies as you walked the streets. Now you have to dodge 1000 dollar baby buggies.
During my nineteen year long hiatus from flying that immediately followed my seven year stint as a flight attendant, I didn't consider myself afraid of flying. I simply did not fly. I still hate it although I have resumed flying when nothing else will work. I also love riding the train, although I haven't done it in a long time, because I like having a car when I get there (wherever there is) and I actually like long drives in the car, particularly alone. I might not feel that way if those long drives had been required for me to see my family, as you've recently experienced. Michael takes the train between N.O. and ATL all the time. It is his preferred method. He's written many papers on The Crescent. One of these times I'm gong to figure out a way to take the train.
Head over to Smith Street in Brooklyn next time. Go to Boerum Hill Food Company, have some strong Gorilla coffee and a peanut butter and jelly muffin, and tell the LSU grad waitress, if she still works there, that we said hi and that New Orleans is slow going but still there.
Which New Orleans artist did you run into, and how is he making out?
"I love New York, but it really made me appreciate my life in New Orleans even more. I guess I'm still a country mouse at heart."
What planet are you from? New Orleans is a huge city, especially when one considers the culture to population ratio. NY isn't a city, it's a United Nation hub and Manhattan might as well be on the moon.
I'd also like to know who the New Orleans artist you ran into is. Everybody is so scattered. It's nice to hear about survivors, refugees though they may be.
The artist was Paul Deo and he's doing really well.
My daughter went to school with Paul's son. Are the kids in New York too?
He said his older kid is doing great...he got into like on of the best private schools in the city and now he may be headed to Yale. Sounds good to me.
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