Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Northern Exposure!


Just returned from a family vacation up north into the mysterious geography of Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and ultimately Maine. For the first time in many many moons my wife and our two girls headed on a road trip to spend several days on the southern coast of Maine, a beautiful area which was very much as advertised. On the way I wanted to take a tour of New York City, a place I've personally never been and that actual tour was fantastic. A lifelong fan of King Kong, I've always had a hankering to see the Empire State Building and it was a blast to finally see the NYC skyline in its actual glory.

Despite all our plots and plans to the contrary we were sucked into the mammoth traffic, I still ended up having to drive in NYC, and it took the modern miracle of GPS to save us from wandering the confusing streets and avenues until we ran out of fuel. Despite this harrowing adventure we had a good time ultimately, though my wife has limited mobility and getting her around the streets was a significant chore for all of us. Thanks to the exceeding kindness of many New Yorkers, we were able to manage the bus and subway systems and find our way across downtown. We enjoyed especially a beautiful afternoon in Battery Park.

There was little or nothing in the way of comics interest save for two minor roadside attractions as we leaving the area. I actually saw a road sign to Derby, Connecticut (the location of the now defunct Charlton publishing empire) and would've diverted if I'd been alone. Also got a glimpse as we left New York and drifted into New Jersey of the Palisades Amusement Park, which I know from colorful ads in countless DC comics of yore. Aside from these two admittedly minor events, it was a weekend dedicated to the wants and desires of my wife and daughters.

Glad to be back though. Traveling is fun, but being home is better.

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12 comments:

  1. I grew up in Queens, but I still dread driving in Manhattan.

    Glad you had a good trip!

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    1. Thanks. It's something I've long wanted to do.

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  2. I've never been to New York (or America) but I've heard that New York at Christmas is the most festive city in the world. The artist Dave Gibbons said that when he first went to New York he was delighted to see the water towers that he'd seen in Spider-Man comics

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    1. I saw some water towers and I always think of Ditko's Spidey too.

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  3. I always wondered why Superman had a vested interest in sending me to the Amusement Park when I saw these adds in the DC books? And wouldn’t holding up a full roller coaster be more in line with something the Spectre would do? (Might have creeped us little tykes out, I guess…)

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    1. Good point, but I'm guessing a less than friendly ghost might not be the best mascot for an amusement park.

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  4. I visited New York a few years ago with my work, an amazing city and to my amazement I found the locals wonderfully friendly and helpful (having been told they were not the friendliest folk) even although they kept asking me "where in Ireland are you from?" (i like the Irish but I'm Scottish) , Americans seems to be such a polite society its quire endearing. I also went up the Empire State building (as also a King Kong fan) and bought a "Baby Ruth (a sweet/candy I have always been intrigued by ( for UK folk its like a "Picnic candy bar) I felt like a wee boy of 10 years old again - It really is a city you could imagine super heroes existing in (although in late October it was really cold and amazingly it is a bit (in layout) like my home city (a massive version) of Glasgow.

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    1. Wish I'd had time to go up the building, but we were there for one day only. Found the people very helpful by and large.

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  5. I'm from South Dakota and I went to Manhattan with my brother once. Holy shmolies!
    Everybody oughta see that at least once.
    But four days almost killed me.

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    1. Getting around was such a chore for my wife that it's really not feasible for us to return as a family. There was a lot of construction and getting her across the streets was real work.

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  6. I only wish I'd known you were going to be in Manhattan; I'd have dropped everything to offer my services as guide. Next time, okay?

    And guys: we New Yorkers try to keep it quiet that we actually love visitors and enjoy showing off our city. Why else do you think we cultivated the image of being surly and unfriendly all those years? If you folks keep talking about it you'll blow the whole secret, so try to keep it under your hat...

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    1. Thanks for the kind offer. If I ever come again I'll be sure to take up on that. We were struck by the kindness, not just kind words but folks taking time and effort to help four people who clearly didn't fit in.

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