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Autumn - sunlitdays

sea_thoughts


The Sea of Stars

Water-stained pages, pebbles and traces of stardust


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I like the island Manhattan and I'm counting the cars on the New Jersey turnpike...
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sea_thoughts
I keep thinking I should post about what I've been doing and then that self-pitying voice which should just SHUT UP keeps saying "What's the point, nobody reads it" but I am going to ignore that voice and post, except WHERE DO I START?

I just spent a week in the USA, specifically New Jersey. I spent it with alizep who educated me in the ways of New Jersey, which is apparently considered by everyone to be a "strange" state. The condition of the highways is terrible but everyone was very friendly to me. I have been to the Wawa aka The Wa; I have eaten a hoagie; I have been to a Stewarts and sat in the car while they brought dinner (this does not exist in the UK) and I have finally drunk root beer (which was nice, kinda like dandelion and burdock with added fizz). I walked along a boardwalk and took photographs of funny T-shirts. I have finally eaten sushi and tasted the famous honey miso dip, which is now my favourite dip of all time.

We walked over three miles in total in NYC so we could visit the museums. The Frick Collection first, which is very Old World and in a beautiful house that used to be a residence so it has a bit of a domestic feel. My favourite part was the Garden Room, which is in the centre of the building and has a pool of water with two copper frogs, benches among the greenery and the statue of a guardian angel watching over everyone. It has the original Holbein paintings of Thomas More and Thomas Cromwell, which is pretty amazing for someone who's seen photos and reproductions galore in the history books I've read over the years. They're on opposite sides of a fireplace, facing each other. If you know anything about them and their relationship, you know how clever that is. And there was an original Constable painting of Salisbury Cathedral. It was bizarre and wonderful to find a painting of the place I grew up hundreds of miles away in the crazy jungle of New York City. Then we went to see the Guggenheim. The current exhibition was not particularly inspiring but the Guggenheim itself was amazing and speaks for itself. Then the Met, of course, which was already familiar to me through Ghostbusters II; best part of that was another garden installation based on a traditional Chinese garden. Could have sat there for at least an hour just breathing in the stillness but we had to get to Top of the Rock, which has great views but you have to go through a security check, and then you HAVE to pose for a photograph and I was wearing comfortable jeans for walking that were not at all flattering but oh well. Actually getting up there was amazing. Ate at Bubba Gump Shrimp, which was very filling, and then we went to see a play on Broadway. We wanted to see "The Lion King" or "Wicked" but the matinee tickets were all sold out. It's so annoying, those people who've seen it more than once could leave a couple for the uninitiated! So we went to see "The 39 Steps" instead, which was most definitely worth it. We got the best seats in the place, in the Orchestra, almost exactly in the middle of the row, four rows from the stage! Just four actors, two of them doing over five roles each, very funny with lots of Hitchcock references. You don't have to be a Hitchcock fan to enjoy it but if you are, there's another layer to the jokes. We both laughed out loud a lot and the actors seemed to be having a whale of a time. Highly recommend it if any of you get the chance. Pic spam to follow (hopefully).

My birthday was spent in Baltimore. Camera had run out of battery but that didn't matter too much. We strolled around the Inner Harbor area, had lunch at Phillips, where I tasted clam chowder for the first time (for the record: I loved it). Three course lunch for $29.99! We couldn't finish our cheesecake, so we took it with us. We tried to visit the art museum but it was shut! On a Monday! Unimpressed. Also saw the Edgar Allen Poe exhibition at the library (Poe died in Baltimore when he was meant to be in Philadelphia) and tried to find his grave but it was hidden, typical of Poe! It wasn't exactly in a nice neighbourhood so we decided to cut our losses and go home. We almost got caught in a thunderstorm and then the sun tried to blind us, so obviously Baltimore is more dangerous than people think (it's not just the guns and drugs, it's the very weather itself!).

Plus wrote more Exiles.

Edit

Gels, I bought all three of the Emily books! I'm so happy, you cannot find them over here, you have to order the American copies! I only ever read "Emily of New Moon" over 10 years ago, and it's great to actually find out what happens to all of them when they grow up!

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I'm better today. Friday was just a lost day for me, I sat around and did nothing trying not to fall asleep! *lol*

You visited the US, AND New Jersey? I live in New Jersey!

which is apparently considered by everyone to be a "strange" state. I laughed at this.

And this: The condition of the highways is terrible but everyone was very friendly to me.

It sounded like you enjoyed the visit. (Did you?) It must have been so much fun to visit another country for your birthday.

I love WaWa hoagies. They're yummy. And, if you don't mind me asking, what parts of New Jersey did you visit? Or did you just drive through?


I did enjoy myself! I wish I was still there, haha! I stayed there but I can't reveal my exact location. ;) I visited New Hope though, because there was a craft fair and that was a beautiful town with lots of old hippies. Had a great crab cake sandwich and ate from the old ice cream parlour (so old that it's been going 60 years!). I forgot to mention that I saw District 9, which was mindblowing.

The hoagie was yummy! I had the Italian. ;)

I'm glad that you seemed to have such a good time seeing things in the US. And that you liked root beer enough that you didn't say it was cough syrup.

As for museums being closed on a Monday, at least here in Denver, most cool things are closed on Monday so the workers get a day off, but are available to the masses during the weekend, ie. Saturday.

Did you ever find a Rilla of Ingleside? While I can't find my most important copies of books, I do still have an extra of Rilla for you.

No, it wasn't like cough syrup! I thought it was a bit medicinal in some way but nowhere near that level!

As for museums being closed on a Monday, at least here in Denver, most cool things are closed on Monday so the workers get a day off, but are available to the masses during the weekend, ie. Saturday.

We were more disappointed about the museum because alizep looked it up online and there were no indications that the museum was closed on Mondays! Boooo.

Did you ever find a Rilla of Ingleside? While I can't find my most important copies of books, I do still have an extra of Rilla for you.

I didn't (except in a boxed set of all the Anne books and I didn't have room in my suitcase), so if you still have that copy, I would love it as a Christmas present! *lol*

The Frick is my favorite NYC museum. It's so personal and clever and the art is amazing. I love it. (I love the museums of New York,so calling it a favorite is a big thing. If you get a chance the Neue museum is a favorite too.) I want to see the 39 steps. Your description was great.

New Jersey is often treated as a joke of a state. But it is lovely and cool too.

There's a story about Poe's grave. Someone for decades left three roses and toasted the grave with cognac. It supposed to have gone on since 1949. (A person claimed he started in in the sixties and invented the history. Others say he's been discredited.)

I hope you continue to have a good time.

I'm back in the UK now (wish I wasn't!), but thanks. :)

There's a story about Poe's grave. Someone for decades left three roses and toasted the grave with cognac. It supposed to have gone on since 1949. (A person claimed he started in in the sixties and invented the history. Others say he's been discredited.)

Yes, I heard about that! An intriguing tale, didn't something similar happen with Rudolph Valentino's grave? Except then it was definitely a female. It's very appropriate for Poe, a mysterious graveside visitor and tributes that don't make any sense (cognac and roses not being typical Poe features).

I want to see the 39 steps. Your description was great.

I really do recommend it, there are some very funny sequences (and some very funny accents, both deliberate and accidental!).

The Frick really WAS very clever, especially the room with all the Gainsboroughs and Reynolds watching each other, plus all the furniture and ornaments being from the same period... Lots of wit and nods to those who know the period. If I come back, I will definitely try and see the Neue.

Ha, I love that you referenced Ghostbusters in your post! Also, the positioning of the More and Cromwell paintings was an interesting detail, I wish I could have seen the paintings myself.

I'm glad you had such a good and eventful time!

*grins* We watched it on Netflix while I was there, such a good film. I actually saw the beginning (I always manage to miss that) and I appreciate it a lot more now than I did when I was little, especially all the rude jokes!

"Everything was fine until Dickless here turned off the power grid."

"Is this true?"

"Yes, it's true... This man has no dick."

You didn't go through Northern Jersey on I-95, did you? It is probably the smelliest stretch of land in the United States, bar none, and something one remembers for years to come. :D;;

Yes, but I've smelled worse, trust me. When we were driving around alizep's home town, I got to smell skunk. Plus, I also grew up in the country, with regular whiffs of cow dung and, when my home town brewery was still going, the smell of fermenting hops, which smells like a school dinner gone wrong.

I'm so glad you had a great time, and didn't catch any bullets in Baltimore! I'm honor-bound as a partially raised Philly-area girl to mock NJ as much as humanly possible (and they give it back just as badly!), especially since a good chunk of one side of the family settled in Dirty Jerzey. And right now the Jets are killing it while the Eagles are sucking so I should just shut the hell up :'(


I will admit: Wawa Hoagies, especially with Utz chips (or Middleswarth, suckas) are the freaking shit. I have issues with this country a lot of the time, but I'm always pleased to know that a visitor can come visit and have a positive experience in the States because I've had so many great ones abroad.


ALSO DID I HEAR EXILES???????????????

I'm honor-bound as a partially raised Philly-area girl to mock NJ as much as humanly possible (and they give it back just as badly!)

Mm, reminds me of Lancashire and Yorkshire over here. They even went to war in the 15th century.

Wawa Hoagies, especially with Utz chips (or Middleswarth, suckas) are the freaking shit.

I didn't have mine with chips. I just had it with cheese (no lettuce or tomato either, much to Alize's displeasure). Everyone was nice to me in the US. :)

And yes, you did hear Exiles. I was chained to my laptop for a certain amount of time each day until I'd written at least a paragraph.

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Lucky! It pulses with energy, enjoy your time there. Those are just a few of the museums in New York, make sure you have a look at the others. :)

I <3 NYC.

I'm sooooo happy you had fun there!!

Thank you! It was a lot of fun, but very tiring!

Hurrah! I'm glad you're enjoying the States so far. You've never tasted root beer? That's so funny... root beer's nowhere near on the prominence of coke or pepsi (or whatever you want to call it) but it's a dear little drink we have all the same. And being a SoCalifornian I've never had a WaWa hoagie in my life. So we're even.

39 Steps? Ah, Broadway. I don't know anything about that show, except for what you've told me, but Io'm glad you enjoyed it!

And HOORAY for buying the Emily books! You're going to love them!

No, we don't have root beer. But then you don't have dandelion and burdock... or elderflower cordial and elderflower wine. :D

39 Steps? Ah, Broadway. I don't know anything about that show, except for what you've told me, but Io'm glad you enjoyed it!

I really hope you can see it sometime, as I think you would especially appreciate it.

And HOORAY for buying the Emily books! You're going to love them!

I already do. <3

We don't have WaWa here, and we don't even have the thing referred to as "hoagies," although I believe they are pretty much what we call muffalettas. Except muffalettas have chopped up green olives on them.

Now I want a muffaletta. :)

I'm so glad you had fun! Of the places you mentioned I've only been to the Inner Harbor. Did you go to the aquarium, or onto the ship?

Well, hoagies are litke short subway sandwiches/baguettes. I was told that 'hoagie' is the Tri-State word for them and they have different words in different parts of the country so maybe muffalettas ARE the same thing, except I would have to pick the olives out of mine because olives are BLEURGH.

Of the places you mentioned I've only been to the Inner Harbor. Did you go to the aquarium, or onto the ship?

We walked past the aquarium and the ship, but didn't go to either as we were keeping an eye on the rapidly gathering clouds (fortunately, it only thundered and rained when we were having our lunch).

The 'having to pose for a photo' thing is annoying! Sounds like you're having an amazing time.

Only wish I was still there! And yes, I was annoyed that you don't get a choice, you HAVE to pose. What if you don't want the photo?

Where I come from we call a hoagie a sub, short for submarine. Don't ask me why, but clearly we are right and NJ is wrong. :) And root beer is fantastic--especially if you add some ice cream and make a root beer float.

I've never been to NYC, but hopefully I'll get there soon. It sounds like a lot of fun!

That's fantastic that you found copies of the Emily books so you can finish the series. I got the first as a gift from my grandmother and had to buy the other two once I finished so I would know how it ended.

Happy belated birthday! :D

Yeah, I did want to try that (it was called a Black Cow where I went) but I wanted to make sure I liked root beer by itself first! ;)

That's fantastic that you found copies of the Emily books so you can finish the series. I got the first as a gift from my grandmother and had to buy the other two once I finished so I would know how it ended.

I know! It's freaking impossible to get them here. If I ordered them from Amazon UK, I would still get the US editions! So why not buy them when I'm actually there? I'm really enjoying them, I always felt more similar to Emily than Anne. It's the drive, I think.

Do you know how jealous I am of you?! I miss NYC!!!!! I'm glad you had fun!!! You tried a Hoagie!!! Yay!!!!!! And I believe there was some kind of reference to Exiles?!!!


Wow, there are a lot of exclamation marks in that comment. *marvels* And yes, I wrote more Exiles. 0:)

I'm so glad you enjoyed your trip! I wish we could have met up :(


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