Friday, October 17, 2008


What a week. Today is a day to decompress. I dropped my colleague off this morning at the Philly airport after marathon meetings yesterday all over the New York Metropolitan area. Some day I may tell you the impossibility of crossing onto I-278 East from certain lanes of the Tri-Borough Bridge which dropped us into the Bronx, but not right now. And I could tell you about another scrape with the law while making an illegal left turn on 42nd Street. ("Get outta here. This one's on the house," the cop told me in his thick New York accent.) Considering that I don't own a car, my driving nonchalance has created an inordinate number of run ins with the law lately. I need to watch my step.

But the vigor and energy of New York City is second to none. And I forgot about this over the years, but quickly remembered it when being dropped into the midst of Midtown Manhattan for our first meeting at the Waldorf Astoria. Later in the day found us in Westport Connecticut, a town I could easily call home. I forgot about the beauty of New England in the fall. And believe it or not, the people in towns like this, and in New York in general, are much less pretentious that what you might find in places like Bellevue, Washington. (The class of old East Coast money trumps that of the West Coast nouveau riche any day.)

But the picture was taken last night in Times Square. Note my blank expression. I was spent. The woman in the picture is a business acquaintance that we had dinner and drinks with. And some day I will describe the beautiful and stylish women abounding in New York, second only to those of Paris. Many, many memories were created on this trip, including the attractive woman with a foreign accent that gave me some M&M's at the ATM ("it's not every day that I take candy from strangers in Times Square," I told her).

I write today from a Panera Bread in Levittown, Pennsylvania, looking forward to getting back to my home and life in Bellingham. Cities are great, but the suburbs are all the same. In my travels, I've been to a thousand strip malls like the one in which I am currently sitting.

Whenever you have magical moments in a city (like New York) the memories dance in your head and you wonder how you could somehow make it in a place like that. But right now I miss Bellingham more, and look forward to getting home. A few more days to relax in my home town of Scranton, PA, then hopefully back to Bellingham on Tuesday. I cannot wait to ride my bike and cast aside this rental car, although it is a Volvo upgrade...a total score.

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