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.