European Time Machine: Escaping New York


The nagging unease creeps up on me every 3 or 4 months, that annoying little voice in my ear urging me to “pack that bag, forget the responsibilities, walk out the door, hit the road.” Again. This time, though, it has only been about six months, maybe less, since returning home to the City from my last 30-day road trip, undertaken with a newly broken finger and an ever urgent need to see highway rushing by. Desperately seeking brown bears or scorpions or simply one little tarantula. Settling, not begrudgingly, for a few curious hummingbirds outside my tent in Joshua Tree. And then there were the ghost towns, the water walk through Zion’s infamous Narrows Virgin River and the capturing of a few million tiny stars in Death Valley as my sturdy Nikon-on-tripod struggled to stay upright in the 110 degree night wind.

Coming home is always the hardest. So what possesses me to do it again the day after Christmas? After feeding seven people around my little 5th floor walk-up apartment kitchen space table—we don’t have real kitchens in New York City, only “spaces,” small ones. Tiny ones. Even as the memories of past adventures have started to fade, I am still trying to process the over 8,000 images from the last trip around and within the perimeter of California. Call it an illness. Call it an addiction. Call it a condition that has undoubtedly been responsible for countless job losses, career changes, uncleaned apartments, and numerous failed relationships (distance does not make the heart grow fonder, trust me). Its my parents fault. They started all of this. Maybe it has something to do with being whisked away with them in a basket to Guantanamo Bay as an infant—an early start to what would become a lifetime of movement. As for trying to find that life mate to share my aversion to staying put, well, I have stopped trying. Too busy. I must pack. Again. There is a job to leave, a door to lock, an itinerary to send to a few people who worry about my whereabouts.

I made a promise to my still 20-something daughter Sara to finally do my blog (hey, its hard blogging in the wilderness—internet connection helps, always excuses). So here I am, as the sun comes up in New York City, touching the buildings with a pink and amber glow, frantically typing this first post before my other 20-something son Michael and I depart for a month long European urban adventure. Multiple cities and countries connected by fast trains and cheap planes. A downward trending Euro helps. It will be a journey back in time and space of sorts as I have seen and/or lived in many of these places albeit many many years ago. Its my parents fault although I already told you that. Forgive me, I have to go pack, quickly, and finish off the Christmas cookies. Coffee helps. Sara is coming over soon to make certain I do indeed write something—anything—and to shove me out the door and down the stairs. So until tomorrow, when I will be in Paris, au revoir.


Collecting places


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