Tag Archive for 'travel'

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Back to Detroit

I’m off to Detroit for one day, to attend my cousin’s funer­al. It’s such a sad thing, even though we weren’t close in age.

Bob was a great guy, who was full of all kinds of odd and inter­est­ing knowl­edge. And he was always will­ing to lis­ten or offer up hon­est advice… even when I was an obnox­ious teenag­er who thought he knew every­thing.

I love ya, man.

Anniversary with the Sabres

romantic night

A romantic night wouldn’t be complete without Canadian beer

On Jan­u­ary 23, Pres­ley and I marked our 7th anniver­sary, and I couldn’t think of a bet­ter way to spend it than at the Sabres-Bru­ins hock­ey game. Am I right?

Just so you don’t think I’m weird, our first “date” was a Sabres game (in Buf­fa­lo) in Decem­ber of 1996. So, it was a nice reminder for us, and it was cool. Thanks to Craigslist, we got first-row, on-the-glass seats. Amaz­ing.

Con­tin­ue read­ing ‘Anniver­sary with the Sabres’

Where I’ve Been…

My MapThis is a map of where I’ve vis­it­ed or lived in the Unit­ed States… This is real­ly jar­ring, because I haven’t crossed the Mis­sis­sip­pi, and I haven’t ven­tured into the heart of Dix­ie. I think that says some­thing about me, but I’m not sure what.

Res­o­lu­tion: before I turn 28, (which gives me 2 years), I want to add at least 3 states. One of them must be Cal­i­for­nia… that’s the easy one.

Florida Keys and Miami

Causeway The Cause­way

I enjoyed going through my pho­tos of our Mia­mi and the Flori­da Keys trip in ear­ly Jan­u­ary.

These pho­tos, along with my trip jour­nal, will help me to always remem­ber it…

Con­tin­ue read­ing ‘Flori­da Keys and Mia­mi’

Reality Check

There is some­thing to be said about all-inclu­sive vaca­tions! Even with a great air­fare deal, my cred­it card is at…

$1,451.71

It was worth every pen­ny, how­ev­er.

Day 5: Back to Miami

Last night was cold! I know it’s much cold­er home in Boston, but Key West shouldn’t be 50 and windy as hell! We spent our sec­ond night head­ing down to Mal­lo­ry Square for Sun­set. I was wear­ing a wool turtle­neck sweater, and was chilly.

Sad­ly, we walked around the Hilton (which basi­cal­ly took over the water­front a few years ago), but couldn’t find the Cat Man. We did catch Jeep and Mo and some tumbling/acrobatic group. Not bad, I sup­pose, but noth­ing you couldn’t get at Fanueil Hall on a Fri­day Night.

Drink­ing was again the goal, but we had such dif­fi­cul­ty find­ing good places to drink. After a drink in some sports-type bar on Duval, which had the Patri­ots play­off game on, we set­tled on Key West’s cheesy land­mark, the Hog’s Breath. The food is aver­age, the ser­vice was ter­ri­ble (we ordered din­ner in the bar), and the music can only be described as awful. D’ya like Dave Matthews or Jim­my Buf­fet? super.

So, we walked up and down Duval again, and retired around mid­night, utter­ly sober.

In the morn­ing, we took the scoot­ers for a ride again, and then returned them. Then we head­ed down Route 1, back to Mia­mi.

Meet­ing Sara in South Beach, we walked along Lin­coln Road, brows­ing the antiques and over­priced cloth­ing shops. We ate at the Nexxt Cafe — which is a bit like the Cheese­cake Fac­to­ry, only you’re stuffed into a hun­dred tables out on the side­walk where you can watch the beau­ti­ful peo­ple and ugly tourists shuf­fle by. I could tell you what I ordered, but it wasn’t real­ly mem­o­rable.

It was nice to see Sara, and escape the Total­ly Tourist ambi­ence of Key West. Sad­ly, I’m a city boy. How­ev­er, you Mia­mi folks honk your horns too much. For now rea­son. Seri­ous­ly.

Since our flight is leav­ing tomor­row at 7:25am, I think we’re going to leave here and find a cheap motel near the air­port. End of vaca­tion, and back to work!

Day 4: Key West

Scoot­ers! What else to do in Key West? We head­ed to Moped Hos­pi­tal down the street from our Inn, and each rent­ed a scoot­er for the day. For $40 each, you get to wheel around town hel­met-less at 30 mph… quite a lot of fun, even with our lit­tle Kore­an mod­els. Every once in a while, a real motor­bike will zoom past us and put us in our place, but it feels lib­er­at­ing to be able to zip around with­out wear­ing your feet out. 30-mph feels like pret­ty fast when you’re fly­ing by bicy­clists.

We first head­ed to the grave­yard, which is an odd place. The water table is so high, and the coral rock so hard, that every­one is buried above ground in lit­tle cement box­es. There are fun­ny epi­taphs, crum­bling and new mark­ers… and we noticed, quite a lot of Mason­ic imagery. There were many of those lit­tle com­pass sym­bols, 5-petal ros­es, pen­ta­cles (5-point­ed stars) — every­where. This added a lit­tle creepy ele­ment to the walk through.

Next, we hopped onto the scoot­ers and head­ed up to Southard St. and Grin­nell St., for a Cuban Sand­wich and Cafe con Leche at the 5 Broth­ers. Pres­ley ate a Fritas Cubanas, which was some­thing like a slop­py joe with pota­to sticks and onion. Both were pret­ty tasty.

Then, on to the Souther­most Point, which is the south­ern­most point in the Con­ti­nen­tal Unit­ed States, if you don’t count the Navy yard gat­ed off to the west. It’s only 90 miles to Havana– much clos­er than Mia­mi.

Back on the scoot­ers, and we zip back up to White­head St. and Tru­man St. to vis­it the Ernest Hem­ing­way Home. This is a total­ly com­mer­cial­ized oper­a­tion that takes your $10, and herds you into the house for a guid­ed tour. Our guide was Dave, who, though com­plete­ly tak­en with his own corny puns and jokes, was utter­ly inept at deal­ing soft­ly with inquis­i­tive tourists. A mid­dle-aged woman asked what year the house was pur­chased by Hem­ing­way, to which Dave the­atri­cal­ly closed his eyes, sighed loud­ly, and snapped “1931.… Now, does any­one know where I left off?” Then he explained that you may take all the pho­tos and video that you like, but not dur­ing his tour. Upstairs, Pres­ley took out her SLR cam­era to catch two six-toed cats loung­ing on Papa’s bed, to which Dave remind­ed her that we are not to take pho­tographs dur­ing his tour, all but assur­ing that he would not be receiv­ing any tip from our wal­lets.

Still, obnox­ious­ness aside, it was inter­est­ing strolling around the grounds, watch­ing the big cats with their big paws. The cats give the estate a mag­i­cal qual­i­ty, prompt­ing Pres­ley to muse, “The Paul Revere House could use some cats…”

Day 3: On to Key West

After break­fast as Magrove Mike’s in Islam­ora­da, we start­ed head­ing west. We stopped briefly at the Bahia Hon­da State Park Beach for some sun and splash. I read, while Pres­ley napped.

Arriv­ing in Key West, we missed the Sun­set cel­e­bra­tion because I need­ed to find an Inter­net Cafe—my boss called me and told me that I had for­got­ten to sub­mit my timesheet, and if I would like to get paid, I had bet­ter do so. So, after the busi­ness was tak­en care of at the Sip­pin’ Cafe, we checked in the La Pen­sione Inn on Tru­man Ave. near Duvall Street. Appar­ent­ly Har­ry S spent some time here.

Head­ing out onto Duvall Street should be an adven­ture, but we found most of the restu­ar­ants and bars to be lack­ing in patrons—maybe it’s the time of the year. After walk­ing around for what seemed like hours, we set­tled on Caroline’s Cafe for din­ner, because you could sit out­side and drink Mar­gar­i­tas and Coro­nas while watch­ing rev­el­ers on the street. God, there are so many old peo­ple here!

After down­ing a few drinks with din­ner, (I had the Mahi-Mahi cooked cajun style, Pres­ley had a whole cooked chick­en, I kid you not), we decid­ed to hit a few bars. There was the Irish bar, with the vil­lage drunks (and no females), and then there was the Karaoke bar next to Crab­by Dicks, with Marie behind the bar, and Karaoke’ers belt­ing our Coun­try songs in the back. At least there were some women at this place… Pres­ley did a rous­ing ren­di­tion of Cheap Trick’s I Want You to Want Me, though I think this crowd didn’t appre­ci­ate it as much as I did.

Day 2: Key Largo, Snorkeling & Sailing

What a busy day! We got up this morn­ing, deter­mined to go snor­kel­ing. We’ve learned one thing about Key Largo—there is utter­ly noth­ing worth doing in Key Largo besides snor­kel­ing, div­ing and out­door activ­i­ties. We rent­ed a dual kayak, and pad­dled around the man­groves in the Pen­nekamp State Park .

And, at 1:30, we took a 38’ Cata­ma­ran sail­ing out to the coral reef, strapped on some fins and masks, and plunged into the 72-degree water to look at fish. Even though 72-degrees sounds like warm water, it’s bet­ter to wear a wet-suit, though it will make you look ridicu­lous. We saw these blue and yel­low zebra fish, a foot-long rain­bow look­ing fish, and some gray bar­racu­d­as who looked una­mused. Note for future ref­er­ence: bring clothes for the sail back to shore, no mat­ter what the cabana boys say in the gray shed.

Fol­low­ing the advice of our Cap­tain (what was his name?), an old for­mer hip­pie who had been sail­ing for 22 years, Pres­ley and I head­ed for Bentley’s, south to MM 83, for din­ner. As we arrived, we noticed a man and his daugh­ter that sailed with us ear­li­er in the day—apparently they took the same advice from the Cap­tain. We chat­ted at the bar with Danielle and Mr. Bern­stein from North Car­oli­na. She is a fresh­man at Vir­ginia Tech, study­ing chem­istry, which was my first major, after­all.

When we were final­ly seat­ed, we went a lit­tle over­board (pun?), and went with 1 dozen steamed clams. Pres­ley ordered a glass of Ries­ling, and the Grassy Key Lime Yel­low­tail, and I asked for a glass of Fume Blanc from Sono­ma, and the Yel­low­tail stuffed with crab meat. mmmm… This was def­i­nite­ly the place to eat, though I think Ballyhoo’s has bet­ter food, (though, in a much more casu­al atmos­phere).

Day 1, Part II: Arriving in Key Largo

We passed through Mia­mi Beach — stop­ping briefly to eat lunch and wan­der into the shops as it rained. Peo­ple are very friend­ly here — even in Benet­ton! I made Pres­ley take off her shoes and pop into the surf… rain or no rain. One odd thing we noticed about South Beach was the copi­ous num­bers of scoot­ers motor­ing around. Very odd indeed, but it makes per­fect sense to own one here, in the sun, where the streets are rel­a­tive­ly small and slow. No hel­mets!

We then head­ed down towards the Keys, down that crowd­ed strip-mall heav­en that is Route 1. We passed by the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mia­mi, and I briefly con­sid­ered what col­lege in such a place would have meant. The strip malls thin out a bit head­ing south, but they real­ly don’t stop until you cross into the Keys, only to pick up again as you approach Key Largo. We checked into our room at the West­in Key Largo, at MM 97. It’s a beau­ti­ful resort in the mid­dle of a sub-trop­i­cal for­rest. Pres­ley remarked that it was the nicest hotel room she has stayed in.

Con­sult­ing our guide­book, The Flori­da Keys, Joy Williams guid­ed us to Ballyhoo’s, a lit­tle shack in the medi­an of the high­way near our hotel. Clear­ly not as attrac­tive to tourists, as it’s not on the water, Ballyhoo’s serves excel­lent fish. I had the fresh caught Mahi-Mahi, pre­pared Men­si­uere-style, and Pres­ley ordered the Caribbean pan-fried Scal­lops. And both were two of the most deli­cious dish­es I’ve ever tast­ed.

Day 1, Part I: Boston to Miami Beach

It’s freez­ing! tem­per­a­ture is in the teens, and we’re late out the door to Logan. Since we live clos­est to the Green line , we decide to walk over the Charles to the B-line. But, tem­per­a­ture is in the teens! I’m wear­ing a light jean jack­et with a thick wool turtle­neck sweater, a knit hat, but no gloves! Pulling my suit­case around the rotary, and onto the bridge—it’s sooo cold. And it’s almost 7am. Our flight leaves at 8:05!

Pres­ley hands me one of her gloves (for the suit­case-car­ry­ing hand), and we both bury our bare hand in a pock­et. Speed-walk­ing down across the bridge, I start to get ner­vous on time—we’re liv­ing under Orange-alert these days and Logan isn’t the eas­i­est thing to get to with­out dri­ving…

Des­per­ate mea­sures! We call Boston Cab, and have them meet us on the Boston side of the Charles. 5 min­utes lat­er, a cab pulls up, and our dri­ver throws our suit­cas­es in the trunk. I’m glad to be out of the cold.

15 min­utes later—7:15—we’re pulling up to Ter­mi­nal C, hav­ing trav­elled south­bound in the new big dig tun­nel for the first time. The fare is $22.15, thought the dri­ver says he hit the wrong but­ton and over­charges… I give him $30—far too much, but he got us there quick, and that kind of solace is worth a 50% tip.

Just made it through secu­ri­ty to board our Song Air­lines flight to Ft. Laud­erdale. As cheery and styl­ish the new Song brand­ing is, the brand doesn’t extend well into the cab­in. Sure, the seats are leather, but they’re this odd light blue col­or, and each seat has a bright accent leather—pink, green, orange. I think that it’s sup­posed to be styl­ish, but it comes off look­ing like an air­line for the Romper Room set… very Micky Mouse. Per­haps Kate Spade hasn’t put her final touch­es on yet.

Off to the Keys

Pres­ley and I are off this morn­ing to Mia­mi and the Flori­da Keys for 6 days. We’re going to vis­it Sara, and mean­der around in the Keys in search of sun, fun and the per­fect Key Lime Pie.

I’m pack­ing up the power­book and the dig­i­tal cam­era, so a trav­el­og might spurt up. Our hotel in Key Largo has wi-fi, and I’ve already looked up hotspots in Key West

X-mas in Buffalo

Ornament on the familial X-mas tree

Ornament on the familial X-mas tree

Macy and Jeremy at Spot Coffee, Elmwood Ave.

Macy and Jeremy at Spot Coffee, Elmwood Ave

Exhibit at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Exhibit at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Con­tin­ue read­ing ‘X-mas in Buf­fa­lo’

If You’re Going to San Francisco…

Pres­ley and I are try­ing to plan a lit­tle 5-day trip to San Fran­cis­co this month– most­ly because I’m being forced to take some time off, and I have a free tick­et on Unit­ed for any­where in the low­er-48.

We need to do this on the cheap, but nei­ther of us have ever been west of Chica­go.

I’ve heard that there are deals to be had on B&Bs, though I don’t even know what neigh­bor­hood in which to look– Soma? Union Square? Fisherman’s Wharf?

And where to eat? Where to go see a good Rock show? What muse­ums to go to/avoid? Which winer­ies to hit? Any­thing to see in Sil­i­con Val­ley?

Some­one help!

Planning

Plan­ning for an event like Field Day is pret­ty daunt­ing for some­one who has camped less than 5 times in his entire life.

A co-work­er of mine sug­gests buy­ing tents and equip­ment from Build­ing 19, where you can basi­cal­ly find any­thing you nev­er want­ed, so long as it fell off the back of a truck. But that seems a bit stu­pid.

Then there is REI… which has things to make even me drool.

Pres­ley is all into bor­row­ing from friends, which is fine, except it might be nice to own some camp­ing stuff… week­ends on Cape Cod any­one?

So maybe Tar­get is a nice com­pro­mise.

Shoot the Weather-people

OK, so I spent the week­end in Albany, at an inter­state Court­yard by Mar­riott, because I met my par­ents there (half-way between Boston & Buf­fa­lo). I went swim­ming, shopped at the mon­strous Cross­gates Mall, and saw The Recruit.

This was all fine. Until I had to decide what to do about the com­ing storm…

Albany Dan was com­ing back from New York, and I want­ed to go out and have some drinks… so we checked with the Weath­er Chan­nel, and they seemed to think that the storm wouldn’t start pound­ing New Eng­land until the after­noon, mon­day. LIARS!

I left Albany at around 11am, and imme­di­ate­ly ran into the shit on I-90 East… I mean, do you peo­ple plow your roads in New York State? There nev­er was a prob­lem with vis­i­bil­i­ty– only with the road sur­faces. So it was 25–40 MPH all the way into Our Fair City. I got in at 4:30pm, a full 5.5 hours lat­er! eek.

Sor­ry if this comes off as a teenaged rant, but Weath­er-peo­ple must be hanged!

God was Drunk When he Created the I-84

We had a hor­ri­ble return trip to cam­bridge tonight from brook­lyn, as the rains were plen­ti­ful, and the sub­aru inad­e­quate to com­bat them. I seri­ous­ly can’t dri­ve as fast as the SUV crowd, because of vis­i­bil­i­ty and the hydroplan­ing.

3 NYC over and over. hap­py new years.

hi! Detroit Sucks. Big Suprise.

hi! Detroit sucks. big suprise. my aunt has one of those black Dells that that dumb blonde kid on TV is always telling peo­ple they’re going to get “it”… and she has a cable modem. so hot.

The cig­a­r­rette smoke here can be cut with a wed­ding cake knife. In fact, i’m doing that now… wav­ing, and wav­ing a knife around so as to breathe.

UPDATE: I don’t appre­ci­ate the ras­cist com­ments, so I am fil­ter­ing them now.

I will allow neg­a­tive or dis­re­spec­tive com­ments, but cer­tain kinds of lan­guage are out-of-bounds.

Play nice & thanks,
Ned

That Detroit de Stijl

Tomor­row is very busy…

I have to pre­pare and give a pre­sen­ta­tion to the M.I.S. depart­ment at the City of Nia­gara Falls in the morn­ing… via con­frence call. Always fun. We will be dis­cussing the Web site that I want to build for them. It will be MySQL dri­ven with Con­tent Man­age­ment and every­thing. The goal is to allow their sec­re­tary (or intern?) to be able to update the site, if need be. I have to build the tools to get it done.

Sec­ond, I’m fly­ing to Detroit in the after­noon. Wednes­day is my Cousin’s wed­ding (!!!). I don’t know what to make of Detroit. Per­haps I will have more to say when I get back. Hey, it’s the home of the White Stripes, and, after­all, i’m from Buf­fa­lo… so? Should be fun.

Buttalo

i’m in but­ta­lo. i need to leave now. it’s get­ting late.

Mem Day Weekend

We’re off to Buf­fa­lo for the long week­end, and I haven’t writ­ten in a while. The sox beat up on the yan­kees last night, and I hope they do it the rest of the week­end. Every­one in this town, (by that I mean the media), is talk­ing about how much Roger Clemens sucks, but he’s pitch­ing tonight. I wish I could watch the fans ride him… but alas, i’m off to the land of AAA-ball.

666 vis­it­ed this week, and it was good fun. We even played ten­nis, and I’m absolute­ly con­vinced that she will become an up-and-com­ing star. No doubt about it.

Rhode Island

I was back in Prov­i­dence this week­end. Walked through the RISD muse­um again, but i didn’t have much time because I had to meet my par­ents for lunch at a restau­rant at the giant mall down­town. It was good to see moms & dad though. Vote on my new poll now.

Home Part 2

hi again, ami­gos. We’re back in Boston, and hap­py for it! Evil­Monkey, Glen­n­do, Pres­ley & Meg­ger tried hardi­ly to put togeth­er a Har­ry Pot­ter puz­zle on our cof­fee table. bon amu­sant!

thanks to Liz, Ash­ley & Emi­lie (i do NOT run a small man mill in Boston, I SWEAR) for links… I read you guys reg­u­lar­ly, so thanks for shar­ing your tal­ents…

AND, besides Evil­Monkey pass­ing out on the couch tonight, it’s SNOWING. When Pres­ley & I (i AM name drop­ping tonight, aren’t i?) were in Buf­fa­lo, there was 82″, so this lit­tle Boston slush is NOTHING. (excuse the caps — $7 pitch­ers at the Silou­ette).

Home

we’ve made it the 450 miles down­wind from boston to buf­fa­lo. The 2 ‘B’s. I’m now sit­ting at a blue­ber­ry imac, try­ing like fuck to get the hocky-puck mouse to do what i need it to. i’m thrilled to see that suck­ahs tests well on Mac IE 5.0… i was total­ly wierd­ed out when we went to vis­it 666 last week­end– the site worked ok on her imac (ie 4.5), but i made some minor changes to fix lit­tle bugs. i total­ly need an imac in my non-exis­tent design stood­io.

i love the mac­in­tosh OS inter­face– so love­ly. But what on earth were they think­ing with the lit­tle keys and hock­ey-puck mouse!!! and no scroll wheel??!

We’re going to some buf­fa­lo wing / beer joint over in East Amherst, next to Doc’s fam­i­ly fun­house… is that still there albany dan? i’m on the look­out for a shoot -‘em up video game. Romo the homo is meet­ing us, and i’m hop­ing that he’ll be a lit­tle nicer to me this time. that fuck was so rude last time.… and if you think i’m fish­ing for an apol­o­gy here, you’re only par­tial­ly right. i’m also look­ing for wings and beer.

Oh, and speak­ing of vis­it­ing 666 in brook­lyn this past week­end, she made me this won­der­ful­ly crafty ‘cork board’, and gave me a great­est hits book of ramond carv­er sto­ries. I love the sto­ries– extra­or­di­nary tales of ordi­nary folks… reminds me of albany danno’s writ­ing style and sub­ject mat­ter. Are you a fan, dan­no?

Albany Part 2

i’m back from albany danno’s… it was a good week­end — full of machis­mo. here are some high­lites, in a bery par­tic­u­lar order…

  • the albany riv­er rats minor-league hock­ey game…
  • the sausage-only bar… where the guy-to-girl ratio was some­what dis­ap­point­ing… and dan­no man­aged to blow a done game of check­ers.
  • the trip to sarato­ga springs… (not much to report)
  • the David Sederis read­ing… (how to spell his name, kate?) at the Egg.

AND THEN? No AND THEN.

Also, Dan­no got me hooked on NHL 2002– which i man­aged to cd-burn, and track down a crack. LET’S GO SABRES! so dumb.


Also, i thought that i’d share some­thing from a new jer­sey paper:

Alfonse Nie­der­mey­er III
Port Author­i­ty Police Offi­cer

Man­asquan res­i­dent Alfonse Joseph Nie­der­mey­er III died in the line of duty on Tues­day, Sept. 11 in the World Trade Cen­ter, Tow­er Two, New York City.

He was 40 years old.

He was employed for 16 years as a police offi­cer with the Port Author­i­ty of New York and New Jer­sey.

Sur­viv­ing are his wife, Nan­cy Kreko­ri­an Nie­der­mey­er; one son, A.J. Nie­der­mey­er; his par­ents, Alfonse and Car­ol Nie­der­mey­er, Queens, N.Y.; two broth­ers, Richard, Queens, N.Y., and Jack, New York City; and one sis­ter, Denise Tracey, Brook­lyn, N.Y.

A memo­r­i­al Mass to cel­e­brate the life of Mr. Nie­der­mey­er will be held at 9 a.m., Sat­ur­day, Sept. 29, in St. Denis Church, Man­asquan.

In lieu of flow­ers, con­tri­bu­tions in Mr. Niedermeyer?s mem­o­ry may be made to the A.J. Fund, P.O. Box 09–0578, Brook­lyn, NY 11209.