I rode the New York City subway for 24 hours back in February because I thought it would be a fun, unusual adventure. It was, and this is what I wrote as a memoir of the experience.
Drinking an Anchor Steam Christmas ale in Fort Lauderdale. In six hours Eric Snyder and I will meet up with ten strangers to start the Ragnar Miami to Key West race.
From the label: “This is the thirty-eighth “Our Special Ale” from the brewers at Anchor. It is sold only from early November to mid-January. The Ale’s recipe is different every year, as is the tree on the label, but the intent with which we offer it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life. Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons, appears born anew.”
This time last year I was just settling into Philadelphia after a three week cross country Amtrak trip. I’m in Union Station today, gazing up at these poster and thinking how remarkable it is that nearly all Amtrak trains offer wifi and mobile ticketing now. It wasn’t like this at all last year. I wonder what the same trip would be like now.
NYC/Hurricane Irene, A Year Ago
This time last year I headed to Manhattan in the hopes of experiencing something of Hurricane Irene. It spared the city, but made for a fun weekend. I stayed with a cousin in Harlem for the weekend, and experienced an extremely rare full system shutdown of the MTA subway and transportation system.
I walked from 150th along Riverside Drive down to Central Park, across through Hell’s Kitchen, and finally ended up at McSorely’s in the East Village. It took hours, and I stopped for a rest at the Penn Club to recharge my phone, read, and catch a nap.
I remember wondering dimly, as the borough was still regaining its wet bearings post-Irene, whether the blue-white vase in the library of the Penn Club was worth more than a month of earnings. I read Penn’s FY 2010 Economic Impact report, and a piece in the New Yorker (I think) on Charles Dickens.
(The Penn Club is a City-of-Brotherly-Love oasis in Midtown. With its leather bound titles on subjects like “History of New York” and “Philadelphia Country Roads” set by paintings of the Palestra, it’s an intermingling of cultures that somehow works.)
What a fun weekend it was, and what peculiar specific things stick out in my mind about it.
Where I’ll be this weekend.