Friday, July 4, 2014

into Brooklyn. into the storm.

I'm in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Oh how I move around! But it's easy when you chug it out of one place to avoid city traffic in a storm. And it's easy when the states are so much smaller.

So Carly stayed home whilst I went out to explore Long Island. I've found that I miss the long drives. The time to settle in and snack and listen to several podcasts in a row and not think about turns for a while. It was nice to drive out to Montauk point and see the lighthouse and the ocean and avoid the bushes because there were tick warning signs. Not camping in tickville, that's for sure! Just had some time to myself to drive and all that good stuff. But then it got dark and rainy and lightningy. And Carly said I was welcome another night, so I took her up on it! And her dad bought us breakfast when we all eventually woke up. What good, kind people! I hung around for a bit and then plugged in Elnora's Brooklyn address and headed off hoping that free parking would be available and the traffic wouldn't be a nightmare. And while it took me a while and it was slow in some parts, it wasn't heinous, and the Park Slope area of Brooklyn had plenty of street parking in neighborhoods. And free parking! It just had some street sweeping restrictions, but I parked on a Thursday, and Thursday was the day for that street, but it had already happened. So hurray! And being residential, I felt that my stuff was relatively safe. And with a thunderstorm going through the night, I'm sure no one would bother breaking into a car. Still I covered up my stuff.

It was 91 degrees and humid and oh how I melted. I got some legit shaved ice, where they shaved the ice off a block and flavored it (I went for plum). And walked around the area. And went to the Brooklyn Public Library, which had a nice exterior, but inside wasn't anything to write home about (except that is exactly what I am doing right now). I ended up taking a bit of a nap in a second floor vestibule.

In the library I was able to cool down and hydrate and rest, and then I set out for Prospect Park! And it was lovely. Trees and paths and a big rolling field. I sat under a tree and read The Goldfinch, but then I overheard someone talking about a thunderstorm warning, and when I checked the weather report on my phone, sure enough there was a warning for one coming up! So I returned to my car and packed up my backpack with over night supplies. I wasn't sure if I was staying overnight, but if it were an option, I wanted my stuff. And my umbrella.

I wandered around some more. I grabbed a fancy burger at Burger Bistro in Park Slope. The menu had all these options you ticked off, so I went with sharp cheddar, caramelized onions, lettuce, and medium done. There were more, but I had to control myself. It hit the spot but didn't stuff me. Then I was off and walking again. Park Slope is nice. A little posher, but more neighborhoody. Lots of brownstones and brick buildings all sharing walls and crowded in on each other. I kinda like that set up. Elnora lives in an apartment in one of these, so I get the added bonus of being able to go into one!

Elnora is my friend from way back when I took the PNCA Pre-College Program. Haven't seen her since. She is such a snappy dresser, perfect for New York. And it was amazing to catch up and reminisce. We got a brewski at a nearby bar and played indoor bocce, as one does in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

The rain was just starting to come down as we returned, and it came hard not soon after we were indoors. Her apartment is on the top floor and lacks AC, so it was stuffy. It was okay for me to stay the night, so I slept on a pile of blankets on a section of the floor. Better than driving in a torrent and sleeping in my car somewhere unknown, that is for sure! And it wasn't so bad. My tent in Florida at that one campsite was much stuffier.

It was great to see Elnora. We had good talks about life, and she suggested hanging in places for a month, like subletting to really stay and see what's going on. Which would be an awesome option...if only my stuff wasn't in storage. But it's a good idea for when I am done with the trip. I'd like to spend more time in Philly and Durham. New York and Brooklyn are great but just so big...Philly is big too but a little more walkable.

I want the weather to improve so I can camp. Camping is no good in the rain. I would have gone to Connecticut and Rhode Island and camped, but tropical storm Arthur is making everything all kinds of rainy, so I called Darrah who lives in Gloucester, and headed on over. A good 5 hours of driving, but to go across 3 states in 5 hours ain't to shabby. Well from New York, across Connecticut, and into Massachusetts. I set my GPS to "avoid tolls" and "avoid ferries" and it only added about an extra half hour to the trip. Not too shabby! So I went up to 91 and 84 for a bit, instead of 95 and the turnpike. Or whichever.

I'll be needing spell check during my stay in Massachusetts. Yup needed spell check for that. Darrah has a nice home in Gloucester. I settled in and showered and Darrah put some sausage on a salad for me, and that was tasty. So I'm taking it easy right now. Want to go into Boston and check it out. Get some fancy ice cream. It'll probably be my last major city for a while. Want to camp and hike and sleep in my tent again!

But also Averie is going to be in Boston on the 14th...

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