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November 22, 2014
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Letters Home

Ads, hotels and old friends

Living out of a hotel room makes time stand still. After a week, the days really start to blend together. I establish a routine; my computer rests on the desk for emails; I sit on the couch to watch TV and Netflix. Over time a few random personal effects scatter throughout the room.

Upon entry, the room always looks the same, the bed magically remade as if a reset button has been pushed.  Read more

Nemo

The Weather Channel dubbed it “Nemo” and said that New York City was expecting between three and 30 inches in the fast approaching snowstorm. Seems like a pretty wide swing, I thought, but what do I know about the weather?

I groaned at the “Finding Nemo” jokes that seemed to be made on repeat in the days leading up to the storm. “I found Nemo,” “I am not looking for Nemo,” and dozens of meme’s showing the Disney character barreling toward the coast.  Read more

Road trip

Trinidad, California is on the coast. A rock cliff lines the ocean view out of the window of the bed and breakfast where we are staying. We arrived at night, drove down from Portland, OR, and so I didn’t see the view until the morning. I was surprised when the sun poked through the fog and revealed the ocean.

Down below, huge rocks jut out from the water. From this distance, it’s difficult to imagine how big they are, but they look enormous. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before, otherworldly.  Read more

2013A

The first days back from a vacation are always glowing. It’s warmer than I expected it to be and it’s nice to be home. The vacation is still fresh in my mind; I can still feel the sun radiating off of my skin and the soothing relaxation in my bones.

I’m happy to be home; I enjoy the familiar sights and sounds; I get back into my routine. New York is a great city to come back to. I’m always struck by that upon returning from a trip. The first few days are full of doing all of your favorite things, all the things you missed while you were gone.  Read more

Surf lessons

I’m on the beach in Costa Rica right now. The waves crash big and beautiful. A dreadlocked, tan, fit American guy is explaining that falling is a big part of surfing. That I should embrace it. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the ocean, but I’ve never surfed before. I’m a little nervous.

There is a small group taking the lesson. The instructor teaches us how to stand up on the board. He draws a line in the sand, to represent a surfboard, and we practice popping up from lying to standing.

“Surfing is mental, right?” he says. “It’s all about going for it.”  Read more

Thoughts on the holidays

The trees near my office are wrapped tightly in blue lights. It’s surprisingly impressive and despite the fact that they went up just after Halloween (too early in my opinion), I am struck often by their beautiful simplicity.

The carolers on the subway are good and plentiful. It seems that all the best subway performers come out this time of year. It’s actually enjoyable when they enter the train, and I notice that even the toughest looking folks crack smiles.  Read more

Airplane scare

Emily and I stand in the Beijing airport looking for the Delta desk to check in. It’s five in the morning and we are on our way back to New York. We push a cart full of bags through the large terminal.

After traveling for 10 days, we are both pretty ready to be home and I am jokingly grumbling about the lack of freedom, news and manners. With perfect timing a guy bumps into me and says nothing. “You see what I’m talking about?”  Read more

Beijing

The first night Emily and I spend in Beijing, we sit in a restaurant with a group of friends; a bottle of Jameson and a boom box rest on the table. The Jameson was bought at the airport and the boom box is blaring rap music. Surprisingly, no one at the restaurant says a word. Welcome to Beijing.

“There aren’t any rules here,” Greg, the groom of the wedding we are here attending, explains. “Don’t just look both ways when you cross the street, look all ways,” he pauses. “Traffic laws aren’t really enforced.”

We cross the streets with extreme caution.  Read more

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is carved out of the side of a mountain. It’s right on the water and reminds me a bit of a futuristic Chicago. The skyline is a sea of brightly lit buildings, stretching up, big and tall into the sky. It makes New York City seem very squarely organized; Hong Kong does not follow the grid plan.

There are tons of people in the streets and many of the alleys are packed with tiny booths selling everything from food to watch parts to Halloween masks. (It’s the end of October.)  Read more

Stolen

At the end of the meal, my phone is gone. I look around the table. I pat my pockets. Check my bag. No way! I hadn’t even gotten up from dinner and someone had swiped my phone from right under my nose. Everyone in the restaurant is sympathetic. My friends help me make one final search around the table. No luck.

It had all started with a bit of iPhone 5 envy. Emily got one the day they came out a few weeks ago and it was light and fast, sharp and cool. Unfortunately, I am not due for an upgrade for six months so I wasn’t getting a new iPhone without paying some crazy exorbitant fee.  Read more

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