The day I didn’t avoid NYC
Providence, RI to Brooklyn, NY by way of road rage and traffic (June 17)
If I get arrested on this trip it’s going to be for public urination. Not for loitering or sleeping in my car — these are relatively tolerated offenses. No, if I’m going to have a serious altercation with the police it will be because my bladder was just too full.
I woke up this morning and peed on some grass. I’ll admit it. It was very canine, actually. I find bathrooms when I can like ones in big stores, fast food places, or the portapotties at construction sites and parks, but sometimes nothing is available — especially right before I go to sleep or when I wake up in the morning.
Surprisingly, I’m not really ashamed of it. It’s just another surprising thing I’ve learned while living on the road.
Stonington’s Old Lighthouse Museum
I took a wrong turn and ended up in the most adorable little town! As I drove in there was a sign for a Peanut Museum.
In our family a “Peanut Museum” is actually not about peanuts — it can be any tiny, obscure museum. The name comes from one particular tiny museum that was, in fact, about peanuts. It was probably the 12th tiny museum Mom took (dragged) us to on our childhood road trip to Colorado and it was the peanut that broke the elephants back (or something like that). Audrey and I were pretty stir crazy by the time we got to Nebraska.
It was actually a really cute little Peanut Museum in a lighthouse that had lots of artifacts from when the town had been bombarded by the Royal British Navy during the revolutionary war.
My favorite pieces in the exhibit were all owned by this guy, Zebulon Hancox, who was even cooler than his name suggests.
Zebulon was born in 1808 to an old Stonington family and was described as “eccentric.” He proposed to a girl in town and she rejected him for being too poor for her, because she obviously had her priorities straight. /s
Well, Zebulon was pretty upset by this so he set out to earn lots of money. He fished, managed rental houses, and made literally everything he used, never spending a dollar he could save. In the picture are a chair, baskets, and iron tools he made himself along with a fabulous portait. When he died in 1899 at the ripe old age of 91 he had $100,000 — equivalent to over $3,000,000 today. The girl had married and died by this time, but her kids lived to see him become one of the wealthiest people in town. Go Zeb!
Some random cafe
Stonington was simply adorable and it had a little cafe with wifi so I stopped to have some iced tea and a sandwich, with some wifi on the side.
I lost track of time writing blog posts and reading a book so when I got back on the road it was time to power through to NYC.
Let it be said: I hate New York traffic. It was rush hour and I died a little inside trying to get to Brooklyn. By the time I made it my jaw hurt from clenching and my bladder was killing me. How can it take a whole hour to travel one freaking mile!? Why the heck do I have to pay $8 to cross a freaking bridge!? Because NYC apparently.
As I entered Brooklyn I went under a couple overpasses. I know NYC has the largest Jewish population of any city in the world, but I didn’t expect to notice it. I did. Every overpass had a bunch of people walking on it, and at least half if not three quarters of them were in full orthodox gear: hats, coats, long beards, and side curls. Even the school buses were super Jewish with Hebrew, rather than English, script on their yellow sides.
For dinner my cousin Morgan and his SO Katie took me to an amazing Italian place right across the street. If I lived in Brooklyn I would be so broke — between the delicious food and the ridiculous rents I’d have to move in a week.
We had three different crostini and each ordered a pasta dish made with Cent’Anni’s fresh homemade pasta. I also tried pan fried calamari for the first time, but had to avoid the ones that looked like little octopi, sticking to a few single-tentacle ones. I just can’t eat something that looks cute and I’m constantly reminded of how smart octopi actually are.
I had a great time hanging with Morgan, who I hadn’t spent more than an hour with in the last decade, and Katie, who I hadn’t met yet. They definitely made the frustrating drive worth it!
Morgan and Katie’s couch
In the apartment I was introduced to Frankie the cat and instructed that if he bit me, I had to spray him with the squirt bottle. He was super friendly, but I did have to squirt him 3 times. He seemed surprised that a relative stranger would be so bold.
We hung out and watched hilarious cat videos while Frankie watched a YouTube video of birds on my computer enthusiastically until Katie needed to head to sleep — she works in a middle school and has to start early.