Monday, August 07, 2006

DamnedTrak and the Baked Apple

Horror of all horrors. Almost as terrifying as a Stephen King novel. As scary as the Deatheaters in Harry Potter. But worth it? You bet.

My hiatus from blog-land is due to a long awaited trip to New York City, with my 15 year old son. I'd heard that 3 of my favorite authors were doing a benefit reading for Doctors Without Borders and the Haven Foundation (for artists without health insurance). So, foolishly thinking a 6 hour train ride would allow my teenage boy and I to "bond", and selfishly thinking of the knitting time, I booked tickets on Amtrak to leave Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. The performance wasn't until 7:30 that night, so a mid-afternoon arrival would give us plenty of time to check into the hotel, get a nice dinner, then off to Radio City Music Hall.


First off, the train was 2 hours late arriving. Second, there was "work on the track" and we sat for over an hour waiting for freight trains to pass us. Then, the heat advisory. Who knew that if temperatures exceeded 90 degrees, trains had to slow down so the wheels wouldn't fall off!

Of course, if all of this information was given to me that morning, I would have cashed in the tickets and driven.

But no. When it became apparent we were going to miss the show, I almost got off the train and came home. But then I decided to give Radio City a chance to take pity on me, and a very nice woman named Alice was able to trade my tickets for the Wednesday night performance. Phew.

And ... phew! New York City when it's 102? The odors. The sweat rolling down my back and dripping off my nose. The lack of available taxis. Walking 15 blocks to the show. Arghhh.

These guys had the right idea.

We saw this:

And this:

No yarn stores (there is only so much a 15 year old boy can tolerate), but I did cruise the Strand Bookstore -- 18 miles of books!

I wish I could tell you that the return trip was better, and it was -- instead of being 6 hours late, we were only 1 and 1/2 hours late. And although the temperature was in the high 90's outside, I was in the meat locker car, shivering.

But ... there has been knitting! I'll save the "warshcloths" and baby bib for another post, and the Mason-Dixon KAL, but I have to show this:

Log Cabin blanket in Knitpicks Crayon -- pima cotton and soft! I love it, and it's the perfect summer mindless knitting.

So, the lessons to be learned:

1. In the words of Scarlett O'Hara, "As God as my witness, I'll never take Amtrak again."

2. Do NOT go in the subway in NYC when the temperature reaches 100 or above, if you value your nasal cavity.

3. Dumbledore is dead. Really dead, according to JK Rowling. "He won't do a Gandalf," she said, while wearing fantastic sandals with straps that looked like snakes.

4. Stephen King is scared by the Deatheaters. He is very thin, but lively.

5. John Irving is one good looking older man.

6. And ... there's nothing like a cold beer when you get home.


twig said...

That train ride is insane! I've toyed with the idea of taking the train to NYC. I've never been. But now I'm thinking maybe I won't.

The Log Cabin blanket looks great. It's "happy." And after a train ride like that, you need "happy."

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Kim said...

HI Susan!
I have taken the train into to NYC...during the early fall...much nicer than during the hot summer.

I found your blog by way of MDK...I am thinking of making a logcabin blanket with big do you plan to make yours and how much yarn do you think it will take? You can e mail me at if you like.

PS...I am in the Fingerlakes, too..I think we e mailed back and forth a while ago...

Carrie K said...

Harry, Carrie & Garp? I want that poster. But wow, AmTrak into NYC when it's hot? I can only imagine and it's pretty horrifying. And then missing the show? ARGH!

No yarn stores? It's not a haven for 15 year old boys? Hmmm. But The Strand. Awesome.

I love your Log Cabin!