180 miles, not including ferry. I know, really pushing the limits of my comfort zone here.
I’ve been thinking of how to compose this for a while, especially since it’s still very close and I don’t want too much overlap with the drawings. I’d like to include a map, photo, and writing post every so often, to capture more than just a moment in drawings but also to help me reflect and remember. Also, I personally enjoy seeing other peoples photos, too! Click to read on.
To recap, Part 1: Reduce possessions and move everything into storage. So much easier said than done, trying to make decisions on what’s worth carrying on the scooter, what’s going into storage, and what’s going to the wind…in varying stages of hangover from boozy farewell socializing. Much help from the Giraffe, who is still Craigslisting my remaining furniture, and Hedwig the Volvo.
Part 2: On May 5th, load the scoot with the lonely remainder of odds and ends in my echoey former apartment – everything I think I’ll need for the next 4 months. I tried to remind myself that I can find pretty much anything I might need, as long as I can carry it, but I think I overpacked. I’ll do a breakdown post on what I’m carrying at some point, right now I’m still trying to remember where things are. Gotta be on the scooter somewhere…
I have two arrangements, at this point. My ‘City’ setup that I took to Brooklyn includes my laptop, Wacom tablet, watercolors, and a big watercolor block (see below). I needed these to wrap up some last minute work, but they’re bulky and vibration/water-sensitive. I didn’t want to take them far but knew I’d be traveling in fair weather to Brooklyn. In Philly, the Giraffe meets me and I switch to my ‘Country’ setup (see above). We arranged for him to carry the tent stuff, sleeping bag and mat, and an itty bitty camping pillow down to me, and take the work stuff back to Providence. Whatta guy.
Part 3: Take off!
As previously referenced, I said a teary farewell and took my favorite route to NYC: the Cross Sound Ferry. I love riding on and off the ramps!
I arrived at Matt’s in Brooklyn in the evening, and pretty much passed out. It had been a long, pivotal kind of day.
But the next few days would be almost quiet. I got some last minute revisions on the picture book in (all done, for the third time!), some paintings for friends, and met up with my agent and lots of great friends! I’ll get in the habit of taking more photos…
Tuesday night: PUNDERDOME 3000.
Tricia, ceviche, sangria, plantain chips, and I.
Fantastic old signs at the local laundromat!
Really, I feel like I’m washing my clothes in a 70s children’s book.
The neighborhood around Matt’s place in Brooklyn is such a wonderful urban playground to me, it’s hard to pick out moments that stand out. I love just walking around, and being with blocks of an endless array of options. I love being able to reach out to friends, compare happy hours, pick a place, and walk or take a train to meet up. As I went about rather banal personal tasks (re-activating my Verizon SIM card for my iPad Mini, doing laundry, taking a walk to Prospect Park) I couldn’t help but realize, I loved living in NYC, but I had to leave to realize how special it is. Landing directly in the city from Hong Kong, I incorrectly assumed most American cities were like this. Oh, the gifts of perspective.
We celebrated Matt’s birthday (part of the reason I stayed so long), and met up with scooter and non-scooter friend folk (glad you guys made it!).
If that wasn’t enough great company and booze, we toured the Kings County Distillery. It’s a marvelous operation for anyone in the city on a Saturday afternoon looking to learn more about the history of distilling in New York, and try some craft whiskey.
All this to say, it was difficult to leave. I could see existing here, moving in little by little, carving out a cozy, pint-sized workspace for myself, living on top of everyone like everyone else does in a city, in between the coffee shops and food trends and happy hours until I realized I was a city-dweller again. I miss having Matt (former Providence-ite) nearby, I like having publishing houses and work just a walk and train ride away. Yes, I could happily slip away to Brooklyn…after all, I did used to live here.
But I’m itching to press south, and it was a beautiful, hot day on Sunday. Winter only a memory now, I opened all my vents and hit the highway. Next stop: Philadelphia, PA.