Archive | June, 2012

I know it’s not technically Friday, but I’m hungry and thinking about food right now, so time means nothing to me. 

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There are statements I never thought I’d say. But after enough travel, I’ve started saying them.

To a maintenance man in a New York city hotel: “Oh no, I’m happy to plunge my toilet myself.”

Or, to a girl with whom I switched airline seats, so I could be next to Rand: “Can I have your middle seat for my aisle?”

Or the phrase that escaped my lips as I sat in the Blue Scorcher Bakery and Cafe in Astoria, Oregon:

“Oh. My. God. This is the BEST yogurt EVER. Rand, try this yogurt. It’s amazing.”

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Rand and I spent a few days in New York City last month.

The city was bright and busy and full of crazy. There were a million stories being written all around us: tourists seeing their first Broadway play; couples falling in love; and whatever was going on with that drunk guy in Times Square.

Here are five of my favorite stories from one of the best cities in the world. Enjoy.

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Dear London,

This is just kind of hurtful:

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I mean, I realize that Scottish notes are easier to counterfeit and all, but really? You aren’t accepting them at all? What about if some adorable Scottish boy wants to ride public transportation and only has Scottish notes?

DO YOU REALIZE THAT YOU ARE DEPRIVING GOOD, HARD-WORKING LONDONERS OF THE JOY OF BUMPING UP AGAINST CUTE SCOTTISH BOYS ON THE TUBE? Please, have some decency.

Sincerely,

The Everywhereist

P.S. – Scottish currency is legal tender, you know.

As a writer, I am constantly concerned that something big might escape my notice, and when a new social trend is born, when something of cultural significance occurs, I will emerge from a bathroom that smells of methane and will ask the masses: What did I miss? And they will roll their eyes and feel embarrassed for me, as I did for that man who I encountered on a bus in mid-September, 2001, when he asked someone if they had heard about these planes crashing in New York (as he had just found out about them), and it was all the rest of us could do not to shout, HOW COULD YOU HAVE NOT HEARD ABOUT THAT?

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There are locations and happenings that, in my mind, hold a sort of mythical status. They are things which I’ve long heard and read about, and if I am truly lucky, if my life is as truly charmed as I believe it to be, I am able to see them. The list is long and random, and I’ve checked off enough of it that, should I die tomorrow, I won’t feel entirely cheated.

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It’s been a slow week here on the blog – forgive me for that. It’s been an insanely busy week in my life, and I suspect the two are related.

A lot happened this week that I absolutely MUST tell you about. But for now, you’ll just have to settle for the links.

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Ray Bradbury died this week. I happened to read his latest essay in The New Yorker – a beautiful and sad tribute to his grandfather – on the day that he passed away. Grab a tissue, and read it.

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In more sad news: Ray and Tom Magliozzi, of NPR’s “Car Talk”, are retiring after 25 years. I grew up listening to their show with my uncle Andy.

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There’s a gentleman who plays guitar on the banks of the Thames, near the Tate Museum in London.

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I spent the weekend in L.A.

After 48 hours or so, I was run out of town by an impeccably-dressed, gorgeous mob with chiseled abs, all screaming in unison: “DEATH TO THE SQUISHY MORTAL.”

Okay, fine. I’m exaggerating.

They actually said, “LASER HAIR REMOVAL AND NO MORE DESSERT TO THE SQUISHY MORTAL.”

Which is way worse, I’m sure you’ll agree.

But hey, a vicious mob is a great way to meet new people.

“You wield a torch like a pro!” or “OMG, that pitchfork matches your earrings!” are good ice breakers.

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