Saturday, August 22, 2015

Summer on the D&R Canal

I always called one stretch of a hiking path I love the Hutcheson Memorial Forest--and that leg is.

But it actually links up to a long line of paths, including one that leads to and through the Delaware & Raritan Canal. (It is ALSO linked to a network of paths that go from Maine to Florida. But that's another goal altogether.)

When the summer heat finally breaks and there's a beautiful morning, it is time for a long walk. Four miles in one direction + four miles back = eight miles = WOW VERY THIRSTY WOW.

This sight was so startling it stopped me in my tracks. A heron and two turtles seem to be posing:

They weren't moving at all! I can't believe I got to capture them (on film).

The canal was used for trade and travel generations ago--the hand cranks don't work now. But I'm glad they've bee preserved, so we can look back toward a very different NJ.

Also, turtles. SO MANY TURTLES!!

My spirit animal is definitely a sunbathing turtle.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Milwaukee gives me hope; Madison is wild.

I have some shame wrapped up in my introduction to Milwaukee, WI, when I moved there to begin college. I was a Marquette student--yeah, the overpriced private school in the heart of downtown.

Our introductory college tour, led by other students, warned us not to go west of campus. Don't go above 17th Street, I was warned.

I was told that over there, it was dangerous. People pan-handled. Students might get mugged. I had to figure out on my own that Milwaukee is an incredibly segregated city, and I was being told to keep out of a largely African-American neighborhood.

But guess what, 2004 freshman campus tour? We stayed in an AirBnB house around 32nd on the West Side, and I feel nothing but hope for the Merrill Park neighborhood.

Gorgeous old home, being renovated, slowly:

Look at the old wood flooring detail!

I was back in my favorite city this weekend. So many of my old haunts are still there.

Colect-what-now? I believe you mean Alterra at the Lake.

Art outside the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Obligatory pilgrimage to the Oriental Theatre.

Peace at Rochambo on Brady.

I like to tease Madison, WI and say its style is shabby chic. Something about brightly painted old houses with overgrown gardens of sunflowers as front lawns will always make me smile. Being mellow about garden upkeep/landscaping leads to a wild, overgrown vibe for Madison in August. And I love it.

Plus, historic homes. Love those historic Madison homes.

Sun coming out on Atwood, on the way to the farmer's market.

Basic Batch.

Dane County Farmers Market, Capitol Square.

Live Green:

Guitar garden.

Tomato garden.

Tip Top.

Strictly Discs.

The Union Terrace at sunset.


Oh, just one more microbrew...

This is the courtyard at Cafe Zoma. WILD, amirite?

Took that coffee back to bed--it was Sunday!--to dive into the spoils of our Comic Book Quest. (We wanted Scott Pilgrim vs. The World Vols. 3 and 4. And alll of the Sandman.) Madison sustains three comic shops; we visited two of them.

And then it was time to leave Madison. Mike and I sang along to Jersey Girl by Tom Waits as we started the drive. We were sad to leave, but for both of us, it was going home.

Before the airport: Stretching at Lake Park.

And then... some maintenance problems, interfering with a connecting flight, leading to a camp-out in the airport for five or six hours.

I was so bleary-eyed I hardly remember landing. Read all the damn comics.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Jersey City Dirty Thirty

Not trying to alarm anyone, but. My friends are starting to turn 30.

I know it's just a number, and all it really means is a little more time spent on earth to get to know and trust yourself, and connect with others.

I mean, my friends are making it look good. I see: confidence at work, more caring relationships, truly rewarding friendships, less drama, and a little more spending money for travel, great food, fitness goals, education, and well, some nights out in Jersey City.

Pyramid! Imagine me on top.

On a land boat... photo-bombed!

Land boats!!

Banana dranks.