A newly-married couple from Los Angeles quit their jobs to work on farms and wineries across Europe. Read it from the beginning...

The Long Road Home

Posted: September 30th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: New York, Schedule | No Comments »


We’re still alive and slowly winding our way home. The aches and pains of an honest day’s work are finally fading. New York City was great. I saw the UN and went to a fancy event at the University Club (the membership roll lists Rockefellers and Grinnells). Visiting family in Maryland New Jersey was nice. Now we’re on a bus rolling through rainy weather on its way to Rochester. We have a wedding there. Later we’ll be on the West Coast. Wedding there, too. Eventually, I hope, we’ll be back in Los Angeles. Still a few weeks to go.

New York in 48 hours, Street vendor hot dog

Posted: April 30th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: New York | 5 Comments »

We were in New York City for less than 48 hours (April 23-25), but man, that city can make an impression. A late touch-down was followed by a bit of confusion on the AirTrain (turns out Howard Beach AND Jamaica Station can get you to Manhattan). We hiked north through Hells Kitchen shortly after midnight. I was amazed at the amount of people walking around. Bars were well attended (this was Friday night, after all), but so were restaurants and coffee shops. We arrived at our temporary home (an apartment off Columbus Circle, generously loaned to us by a family member) around 12:30.

Enlivened by the city bustle, and still on West Coast time, we went out to grab a bite to eat at a diner (The Flame). Stocky, gray-haired men served us with the even weariness shared by all 24-hour diner employees. Halbe asked what about bread options. “Ryewhitewheat,” said the waiter, then he shrugged and looked over his shoulder, as though checking for the police. We were back and asleep not a minute past 3:30 AM.

That night I dreamt of jogging in Central Park. It was like a scene from a movie — not sourced from any one particular film, but an amalgamation of every “protagonist jogs along The Lake” moment from every New York-based film I’ve seen. And, despite having not jogged in months, nor really having the best shoes for it, I woke up determined to try it. Central Park was gorgeous. The day was clear, and runners, loungers, and bicyclists were out to celebrate. There was a music festival of some kind, and a benefit walk for a disease. I broke a sweat circling The Lake, stopped for a breather, and gazed out over the water. I could almost hear the director yell “Cut!”.

The best thing I ate during our short stay was a two buck hot dog from a street vendor near Columbus Circle. The dog was flavorful, the bun pillow soft, and the mustard surprisingly complex. I’ve been warned about the dangers of two kinds of food: taco trucks, and hot dogs from corner vendors. I’ve found both to be delicious. Perhaps there is some connection, like the danger of it heightens the enjoyment.

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