Since the 28th of August - the last time I posted regularly - I've done a ton, which is what has kept me from posting. Here's a brief synopsis of what I've done in the last week or so.
- I wandered around Manhattan and saw everything closed down after the hurricane. I was going around with a guy from Turkey, a guy from Israel, a guy from Argentina, a guy from the Yukon, a girl from Texas, and a girl from Poland who had a Scottish accent. We saw Chinatown and Little Italy, stopped by the WTC (where there are now some very tall buildings under construction - much different than last time I was there) and Wall Street, and had a ridiculously long walk back to Brooklyn across the Brooklyn Bridge. We walked twelve and a half miles, and I did the whole thing in my "like barefoot" sandals - twelve miles on concrete is not a good idea in sandals like that.
If we ever start a band, this will be the album cover.
- I drove to Connecticut and then back to Manhattan, with a stop at "Barcade" in Brooklyn - a bar with arcade cabinets in it. I imagine they make a ton of money on the quarters for the machines, as drunk people are not very good at video games. But it was fun playing some old school Ms. Pacman and Rampage while drinking a good beer. Then I slept in a closet, which in Manhattan is generally called an "apartment."
- I went back to Connecticut and spent the night talking with a college friend of my mom's in their house with no power. We talked about my trip, about life, about traveling in general, etc. Then I spent the next day hanging out with her four grandchildren, ages five to eleven. When I got there the boys were climbing a tree, so I joined them - and ended up climbing quite a few trees - my muscles were actually sore the next day I did so much climbing. We played on the beach, and I worked with AJ to build a monument out of the trash that Irene had washed up. And one of them - I think AJ - even told me that in school they write biographies on people they know, and he wanted to write his on me. It's hard to not get an ego boost from something like that.
- I spent two days in Boston, camping out one night and staying the other night with a Jamaican woman who wakes up at midnight to go to the gym for two hours, then works from 2am on. I saw the Sam Adams brewery, got some good sushi, and had fun watching the Sox fans go by on their way to the game against the Yankees at Fenway. And then I saw a friend from college that I hadn't seen in a few years and took her on her first ride on a motorcycle.
- I rode up the coast into Maine, with a brief trip through the 11 miles (or whatever it is) of coastline that New Hampshire has. New Hampshire had a higher than normal number of the following: motorcycles, people on motorcycles without helmets, fireworks stores, strip clubs, and "smoking accessory" stores - a.k.a. head shops.
This was on the way to Maine - and the picture's also upside down.
- I hung out in Portland Maine, which was surprisingly cool - the whole downtown area looks like it used to be industrial buildings, all made of red brick, and they've all been converted to bars and restaurants. I got some Allagash beer (but didn't go to the brewery unfortunately) and had an amazing bloody mary. I also got to play with four 4-week old kittens, which were a blast.
I have about 80 pictures of these kittens.
- I camped out in Vermont in a town that had dumpsters and piles of trash everywhere - things that were ruined from flooding I drove up a deserted, dangerous looking road to get to a campsite that was packed and full of people partying. Then in the morning I went to Ben and Jerry's factory and did a tour - though unfortunately they weren't producing since it was Sunday.
- And now I'm in Toronto - last night we went to a CouchSurfing meetup at a restaurant, and then went with most of them to a bar that was having retro music night (80's and 90's), and I played wingman for the international surfers.
So. I've been pretty busy, mostly alternating between riding and hanging out with people, without much downtime to myself. I'll try to get back to a normal posting schedule now that I'm away from big cities and heading back towards the midwest.