Current Location: New York, NY

Well, New York must not have wanted its legacy on this blog to be based solely on the horrors of yesterday’s parking ordeal because like Annie always told me it would, the sun did come out tomorrow.  Although I can’t say that I simply strolled over to my car and effortlessly relocated it to a free spot on the other side of the road before waltzing down Fifth Avenue with a croissant and twenty carats worth of diamonds, the parking spot search-time this morning was dramatically shorter than yesterday.

In another point in the plus column for New York, “Operation Re-Park 2011” came on the heels of going to last night’s baseball game at Yankee Stadium.  I hope it’s clear that I’m not exactly a Yankees fan, and I’ll have a lot of explaining to do tomorrow when I arrive in Massachusetts and reunite with my Redsox-loving family, but for better or worse, going to a Yankees game seemed like a good item to check off the bucket list of America.  Everyone sitting near us at the game was incredibly friendly, and it was a good reminder that there are both courteous and rude people everywhere.  Sure, it’s true that my friend Catherine’s building’s superintendent refused to let me in yesterday because I didn’t have a key, and it’s also true that three of her neighbors passed me without any sort of acknowledgment as I was lugging my 312 bags up the stairs, but that’s fine.  That’s the same do-it-yourself attitude that helped found this country.  And for the record, no one helped me in Evansville, Indiana either.

I really do love New York, and it’s been nice to finally find that its twenty degree temperatures don’t linger all year long.  As far as I can recall, I’ve only ever been here at one time or another during the months between December and March, so I was beginning to wonder if the city did have another (warmer) side to it.  The heat is nice, but there is something to be said about donning winter boots to walk around this city.  They’re much more resistant to the puddles of sticky sewagey sludge that take up residence along the city’s sidewalks than flip-flop sandals have proven to be.  I only wish that I had thought to bring disposable shoes with me as I think I might be forced to throw away the pair that I do have.

Riding the subway continues to be one of my favorite activities here.  There’s just nothing like it.  Sometimes the train is relatively empty and relaxing and then other times, it feels as though you’re walking into a medium-sized fish tank that’s already serving as a holding cell for every single person living here.  And no one ever says, “shucks, that one’s full.”  The trains always have room for just one more.

After moving my car this morning, I went to Starbucks and found that just because something is a national chain doesn’t mean that it has a national price.  Everything is more expensive here, and I suppose that makes sense.  What might someone do?  Go to New Jersey for coffee at a cheaper rate?

Following my trip to Starbucks, I decided to head downtown towards Battery Park.  Of course, I’m somewhat unfamiliar with the subway system here, so I ended up walking about two-and-a-half miles.  I suppose I needed the exercise though.  I haven’t worked in a lot of physical activity in between driving 6,000 miles over the last thirty days.

I made it down to Battery Park and found that the intense level of patriotism displayed following September 11th continues to resonate from this area.  I haven’t been there in quite sometime, and it was nice to see the tremendous amount of work and progress involved with the Freedom Tower which will be the new One World Trade Center and completed in 2014.  I joined in with the masses of my fellow tourists by taking photos of the park and its sites, including the Statue of Liberty which looks ahead from her perch in New York Harbor.  Originally, I had thought of taking the Staten Island Ferry to get a closer look at Her Majesty, but when I saw that the line for such a ride spanned the length of Manhattan, I decided to head back uptown and rest.  I can’t do everything on this trip.

Feeling like a chump just sitting around in front of the TV while visiting New York, I opted to watch Sex and the City so that I could still get a look around town.  It’s very nice here.  The apartments are all fairly big and presumably inexpensive given Carrie and Charlotte’s general lack of meaningful employment.  It’s also incredibly easy to get from place to place and the people here spend a lot of time going to fancy events at high-end ballrooms and restaurants.  All in all, it seems like a good place to live!

Tonight I plan to rest up before taking off for the final leg of my journey bright and early tomorrow morning.  Even if I wanted to lag around a bit, New York’s streets mandate that I get out of here in a timely manner, so I’ll be arriving in Massachusetts by the afternoon.  I can’t believe that the end of my days as a wanderer is finally near!  Thank you for all of your encouragement throughout my trip.  I’ve really appreciated it all!

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