Monday, May 25, 2009

Memes this week

The Yale thing has been big the last few days but I can't seem to get away from some other topics:
  1. Pirates hats! People are wearing Pittsburgh Pirates baseball caps all out of proportion to what I perceive to be the logical distribution. I saw at least three in Philadelphia and four in New York City, mostly on the street or on public transit, and I'm pretty sure one guy in New Haven had one on that I saw earlier tonight.
  2. Pregnancy! I couldn't turn around this week without seeing someone's baby bump. (Do people still use that term?) It just seems that two weeks ago, I wasn't seeing any expectant mothers and now every other woman is anticipating such a blessed event. What's going on here?
  3. People asking me for directions! I'm really flattered that people would think I'm competent and knowledgeable--I get it--but then they ask me "Is this the westbound blue line?" or "Where's Giovanni's?" Or, "Did you just make up that tenor line?" (in an appreciative/admiring, not sarcastic tone). But seriously, I'm not from around here, and if I know where your thing is, you're just lucky that I had just seen it while I was walking around the neighborhood. And/or can read the signs in front of us both.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009


Just an ordinary crosswalk post, right?

Guess again. Looks like someone had a minor budget and license for mischief in New Haven.

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Friday, May 22, 2009


Sometimes life just goes a little easy on you.
-- Evan Sanchez, January 2009

  1. Pittsburgh: the more things change, the more they stay the same. It's a great place for biking, I'm rediscovering. (In German, would that be Fahrradort?)
  2. Baltimore: more to it than just The Wire, though those kinds of neighborhoods exist, too. They've got great bluegrass music in unlikely places.
  3. Washington: more fun with time to enjoy't. The view down Pennsylvania Avenue still gets me every time.
  4. Philadelphia: Terry Gross sighting! Also, Cézanne, the Mütter Museum and Eastern State Penitentiary were all worthwhile--if pricey.
  5. Me: I know I should plan ahead more, but continue to learn all the wrong lessons.
  6. New York: I know a guy who knows someone who knows Judah Friedlander (not to be confused with Saul Friedländer) and Dave Attell, both of whom I saw Tuesday night. Joke of the week at cash-only establishments: "No American Express--but do you accept Metrocards?" And, as I mentioned elsewhere, Fleet Week is prime time for violation of hte no-white-pants-before-Memorial-Day rule.
Next: New Haven. Pictures later. (Careful readers of the blog will notice that I've put up some pictures in those places where I have said that. Impatient readers of the blog can email me and/or leave comments where they especially want visual details of my exploits.)

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

There can be only one

I'm going out of town for an extended weekend starting tomorrow, probably through May 26. Quite a weekend, I know. Anyway, it just so happens that I'll be missing some great events in Pittsburgh. The Democratic primary election for mayor, for one, and also two bike-related events.

Many readers will know about Beer-Bike, the single greatest college tradition ever. This is, of course, the only and true Beer-Bike, but there's a guy here who's setting up an attractive, if heterodox, alternate conception of the term.

The East End Brewing Company has an annual launch party for its seasonal Pedal Pale Ale. The party takes the form of a Keg Ride, where the brewer loads the season's first keg in a bike trailer over to an undisclosed location, and anyone who shows up on a bike and rides from his Homewood South brewery to the designated bar gets a free pint. Not a bad deal, except that I'll miss this year's version.

Consider yourself advised for next year.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Just in time

Something strange started happening to me in my last week in Chapel Hill: I started running into people. It didn't happen that often, but I did see someone from the compline choir at the Orange County dump, a Chapel of the Cross parishioner on the street and someone else at the post office, not to mention the faces I started to recognize in different places, having been now for the first time in Chapel Hill long enough to be a consistent patron at various establishments--does that make sense? So the phenomenon I so enjoyed on visits to Pittsburgh started to present itself in this other context, but only as I'm heading out on other trajectories.

I'd say it's just my luck, but I actually have had a lot of very good luck recently. So let's say I've been lucky to get to know so many people in North Carolina, and will be able to meet even more people in Pittsburgh.

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I'm homeless

Well, not really, but kind of. The sale of the house in Chapel Hill closed today (Wednesday) and the house in Pittsburgh doesn't close until tomorrow (Thursday) so I don't currently have a legal residence, I suppose, but I will soon. We had around 350 boxes on the truck, plus furniture etc. Lots of fun adventures of unpacking!

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Monday, May 04, 2009

Last night

There's a big United Van Lines truck on the street outside the house now, with about half our stuff in it, the other half in boxes inside the house. We've been anticipating this for a while now, and our wait is almost over.

A number of people from our church threw a terrific party on Friday night, and we've been making the social rounds for a few weeks now. Having said goodbye to most folks, I feel we need to get going to avoid the "aren't you gone yet?" syndrome.

I feel like I've moved a lot in recent years--in and out of dorm rooms, various rooms and houses in Peace Corps--but moving an apartment is a much smaller task than a full-fledged house. Just a little note to self there.

I've got an LSAT class tomorrow night, but will drive all day Wednesday to Pittsburgh. Only a few hours left here.