Planes, trains, and automobiles

Early yesterday morning, DS and I boarded the train in Bridgeport to go to Grand Central. Our plane left LaGuardia at 11:05 am. We arrived at Grand Central right on time, and just as we were walking onto the platform, DS received a call from our airline telling him our flight had been canceled. What the fuck? The weather was chilly but lovely in NY. I called the airline back and was on hold for 20 minutes before someone finally picked up. It turned out our inbound plane was unable to leave the city it was flying from due to weather (probably the snowstorm in the Midwest, which I had thought wouldn’t affect us), so the airline canceled our trip out right and put us on a flight for the next day. We sat in Grand Central, trying to decide what to do. We humored the idea of going to the Met, but didn’t have anywhere to leave our luggage. Plus, having visited NY twice in eight weeks, I was becoming familiar with the fact that staying in NY meant dolling out a certain amount of cash every where we went, and I simply didn’t have cash to spare. Going back to CT wasn’t an option either because our plane left at 7:50am the next day, and the train ride was over an hour long. We had just paid a certain amount for our one way tickets and I wasn’t interested in opening the wallet again to buy tickets for two more trips. We decided to go to the airport to see if we could sneak on to another plane. When we arrived, it was a total clusterfuck. Lines of people going each way…the kind of situation where I couldn’t tell where one line ended and another started. We decided to throw in the towel and not even bother; we went to a nearby hotel and stayed an additional night (I tried to keep my grousing about costs to a minimum since it wouldn’t do any good any way). However, things were much better today and we made it to S. Fla. without a hitch.

Some highlights from the trip:

I love New England. We went all over, but one of my favorite stops was New Haven. What a lovely place. We ate at Pepe’s (one of our traditions…I’m surprised we didn’t both keel over from all the pizza grease we coated our arteries with), and visited the Yale Art Gallery, where I had hoped to get my portrait taken with one of the Kahlo portraits, but it wasn’t on display. Before heading to New Haven, we stopped by a bookseller with whom DS had made an appointment. The gentleman sells books out of his three story Victorian house. When we walked in, he was cataloging an estate of books and pictures he had just purchased. He was an interesting guy—a photographer who took a couple of classes with Walker Evans when Evans taught at Yale in the seventies (I believe). I don’t know a lot about photo books, but when I saw that this bookseller had a first (American) edition of Robert Frank’s The Americans, and that it was inscribed to the bookseller by Robert Frank, I knew that was pretty damn impressive. I was even more impressed when he casually said he had another copy of the book, and it was also signed by Frank. Hot damn.

DS’s parents know I’m a vegetarian, so they decided to take us to lunch at a place called Bloodroot. The owners describe it as a feminist restaurant and bookstore with a seasonal vegetarian menu. We had mushroom quiche and it was delicious. It was pretty fab visiting a restaurant that served tasty vegetarian/vegan food and also promoted political ideas and philosophies that I support.

Then there’s the coffeepot story. I posted this over at Incertus, along with pictures. My husband and I are avid coffee drinkers, but his brother, with whom we were staying, does not drink coffee. We contemplated buying a very cheap coffee maker from Target to keep at his brother’s house for when we visit. However, when we mentioned to his parents that we were going to buy a coffee maker, they quickly squashed the idea and declared they had a coffee maker somewhere in the basement (they don’t drink coffee either). His father went downstairs, and when he returned, he had with him a percolator from 1956. He pulled it out of the plastic bag they stored it in and I was bowled over by the beauty of it. The thing was over fifty years old and it had never been used. They had received it as a wedding gift. It was in pristine condition. My husband was skeptical as to whether we should use it, but I insisted (so much for keeping it in pristine condition). It worked perfectly–the coffee was smooth and delicious. I didn’t want to part with it (I wanted to bring it home and display it on the counter) but we left it where we found it, and plan to use it again when we return. If you want to see a couple of pictures, visit Incertus. I’ll have pictures here sooner or later, but it’s not nearly as easy to upload pics in wordpress as it is in blogger (because I have to upload the pics to photobucket first, rather than straight from my desktop).

This week looks like a busy one. I’ll be reading an essay I wrote about the Confederate flag and General Lee on Thursday morning, during the English Graduate Student Conference. It’s interesting how knowing I’m going to read the essay out loud influences the way I edit the essay. It’s as if I’m trying to tweak the essay to make it a strong performance piece. I don’t know how successful I’ve been with the editing, but it’s a first draft, and will likely go through more editing even after the reading.

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