Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Alive in the basement

Yes, we are alive. No, we're not still in South Dakota--we're just lazy. I suppose there are blogs to be written about the next stops on our trip: Chicago, Kalamazoo, Cleveland, Virginia and Philadelphia, but we'll have to backtrack for those.

I'll cut to the most relevant stuff. We made it to New York on October 9, almost exactly a month after we left Paradise. We're staying in the basement of the house where my friend D. and his parents live. Thanks to their remarkable generosity, we've had a pretty good time of things so far. We've been taking the train into the city to search for apartments and jobs. We have leads on both, though I won't say more until something concrete happens.

New York is picturesque both in and out of the city. D. and his family live in Croton on Hudson, a village 42 miles north of NYC and just a few miles away from Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving's old stomping grounds. After the mega expressways we traversed across Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the kind of tight, forested highways in this part of the state were like driving on another planet--and almost getting run off the road by the aliens when the lane width suddenly constricted.

There's a lot more to say, but I haven't organized my thoughts. The last two weeks have been a haze of craigslist advertisements, hour-long train trips and staying up until 4 a.m. for no reason. It's finally getting cold, and the red, orange and yellow leaves scrape across the roadway the way I remember from the 1989 Tim Burton version of Batman. On one hand it feels like our journey has ended. We've been stationary for two weeks. But on the other, we're not in the city yet. I know there's another chapter or two here before I can say "I live in New York," but I can't say for sure if they have begun yet.

I will say that the city is a lot cleaner than I expected, and the public transportation is excellent. The subway cars are well kept and the trains run all the time. Also, it's almost like Disneyland when you step off the 4 Train and there' s a full steel-drum band playing on the opposite platform to a throng of mesmerized commuters. I will have more to say. We have met people. I have had some excellent conversations with D. and his parents. But I should sleep now. Later today my electric guitar will come in the mail--and maybe I'll have Rolling Stones tickets.

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