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Thursday, April 4th, 2002
We woke up late and rolled out of Motel 6 around 10am. The sun was out, and it looked like it was going to be a beautiful day on the road in Ohio.
It looked as though we would probably be able to reach New York tonight, but Jennifer warned me that she had always had a rough time getting through Ohio.
We filled up before leaving & I asked at the gas station about postcards. She didn't have any, so I asked about hookers and cocaine, for which she directed me to the pool hall across the street. I was joking, but she was more than half-serious.
Ohio is an agricultural state, with fields, farmhouses and some cattle.
We tuned into 540am, which was broadcasting some weird tourist information about the President Hayes House, snacks, food and shopping. We didn't stop at the Hayes House.
This was also the 5th day in a row we heard a radio advertisement for "joint-ritus".
Ohio's section of highway 80 is called a turnpike, and they charge a toll to drive on it. To drive all the way through the state with a two-axle vehicle costs US$7.
Next we were in Pennsylvania, the homeland of my friend Marc Nolfi. Or at least his parents were from there or something.
The landscape was trees and fields, beautiful, but boring after the first two hours. There is something about the word "beautiful" that implies "fresh and interesting", whether it be in regards to landscapes, motorcycles or sculpture.
We got our first glimpse of some cooling towers of a nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania, and our first look at some deer.
When Pennsylvania finally ended, we were in New Jersey, which turned to New York in a mere 30 miles or so. I was excited to see all the chemical plants that I associate with New Jersey, but I guess they aren't visible from the highway. The most memorable sights of New Jersey were the American flags flying from most of the overpaths and a store on the border called Cheap Beer Depot.
We crossed the George Washington Bridge into New York, and we had made it!
Crossing the country had taken five days, including most of one day sightseeing in Chicago. We covered 2,880 miles in Jennifer's Plymouth Neon. It was a fairly comfortable ride, but now it was over.
We had a finish-line dinner at an italian place in the Bronx and then she dropped me off at Keke's apartment in Brooklyn.
Thanks for the ride Jennifer!
Keke and Crystal took me to Salsa dancing at the Rain Lounge. I salsa-ed all night long! Well, not really. I mostly just watched salsa dancing.
Back on the road in Ohio
Sign on an Ohio rest stop bathroom
James Shocknessy Reststop on the Ohio Turnpike
The beautiful landscape of Ohio
Miles of trees and open sky toward Pennsylvania
Driving in Pennsylvania
Totem pole near Snowshoe Pennsylvania truck stop
Road dots encourage proper car spacing in Pennsylvania
Hooray! The George Washington Bridge into Manhattan!
Friday April 5th, 2002
On Friday Keke went to work & I was on my own to wander the city. I started out on Bleeker Street, which was very nice, and made my way to Broadway, Grand Central Station and then Times Square.
I called up a few friends in the city & for the first time in my life, really wished that I had a mobile phone.
In Times Square I found Easy Everything, an internet super-cafe with about 800 computers online. One could get online for as little as a dollar.
I checked my email for the first time in 3 days, and I had 94 messages, most of them regarding my Herbalife article. It was a big hit! I had been linked from Memepool, Daily Rotten, Cardhouse, and several others, exposing my site to a lot of different people. The only problem was that it took hours to sort through them all, and I've even neglected to respond to about half of them. Sorry.
I called Keke at work & she invited me to meet her friend Jane at a bar in the east village called "open air". I searched fruitlessly for about 45 minutes, gave up and went home.
Sometime after I got back to Keke's, I realized that I was in America, and I could simply buy an internet connection and DIAL IN to get my mail! (Imagine me slapping my forehead)
I called earthlink & signed up in about 8 minutes, but it was Friday night, so I stayed offline long enough to visit a local bar with Keke. A place called the Blue Bar, I think. Jane met up with us there & we had a nice time.
Their fashion-stylist friend had the story of the night: She informed me that oftentimes when people are shooting photos for magazine ads, the director will buy lots of new clothes for the models at department stores. When the shoot is over, they send some poor soul back to the store to return dozens, even HUNDREDS of new shirts, pants, jackets, hats...everything!
"Hi, I'd like to return these 6 bags full of clothes, and I have 7 more bags in the car".
That would be my worst nightmare, but just think, the very pair of pants you bought today may show up in a liquor ad someday!
Near Bleeker Street in New York City
One of many patriotic signs in NYC storefronts.
On Broadway in NYC
Ground Zero memorial from Sacramento school children
"An ridiculously tall, insanely funny and handsome man"
The fence near ground zero cloaked in memorials and shrines
The pile had been become a deep chasm.
the Chrysler building view near Grand Central Station
Protest in Times Square