"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Thursday, March 27, 2008

From the Fifth State

This morning I woke to this view.

Now I'm gazing upon this view.

Looking up Seventh Avenue. Madison Square Garden on the left.

Culture shock? Um, yes. Mostly due to the mass of people in the crosswalks, mobs of taxis headed downtown, and the pervasive noise of horns and sirens. It's rush hour in the Big Apple.

I've got a complex relationship with New York City. I won't go into it now, except to say it's an approach-avoidance thing. I'm passionately fond of London, where I spend so much time. My next preference is Paris.

But here I am. Certainly there's no better antidote for a bad case of cabin fever than plopping myself down in the middle of the City that Never Sleeps!

Our schedules have been so hectic of late that when planning our travels we chose the least stressful and hassling journey possible. This morning we boarded a Concord Coach, hopped off at Boston's South Station, walked onto a train.

After a very pleasant 4-hour journey of reading, relaxing, and chatting (in low tones--we were in the Quiet Car) we got out at Penn Station. Walked half a block to the hotel where my conference is sited.

King Kong himself was waiting on the bed, with a friendly greeting attached. And the full pillow menu. Six choices!!

Today I've been in five states: NH, MA, RI, CT, and NY.

I intended to nap during the trip but the view from the window was too interesting. Along the coastal and marshland route through RI and CT I saw a blue heron, raptors, sea ducks, swans, Canada geese, and a flock of turkeys.

It's been nearly 9 years since I took the same trip--in the opposite direction, from NY to Boston, for a different writers' conference. On that day a thick mist enveloped the train and I could hardly see the country I was traversing. Today we travelled under grey skies, but the landscape was clearly visible.

The Chap is out and about, picking up groceries (we have a fully equipped kitchen) and doing a restaurant recce. I told him I'm in the mood for good Italian.

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