Rideshare number three: Chicago bound

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Chicago, here I come! I am traveling under the care of one gentleman who is moving away from the Rockaway Beach area of NYC. He is stopping off in Chicago to visit a few folks, en route to plant his roots in Nashville, Tennessee. We are riding in a cozy Hyuandai, gently packed with a Spartan amount of his personal belongings, and now I must impart: Ride shares are fun! This is the third I have taken within a 30 day span, and every one has been a good experience–a chance to meet someone new, exchange ideas, enjoy music and make the trip less solitary and more enriching. Additionally, they have all been phenomenally hassle-free. No waiting in lines, no ticket purchases, no tagging of luggage, no security checks. In terms of time effectiveness, ride shares are second only to airplanes, and a lot more comfortable.

I am beyond excited to see everyone who is flocking to the Windy City to be a part of this weekend’s highly anticipated Bench Minor tournament, and to see my thick-as-thieves 818 polo brothers, Joker, No Love and Boludo.

Currently we are 4 hours in, cruising through the sea of homogeneous greenery that is Pennsylvania, with roughly 9 hours to go.

Also, in case you may be wondering, I have not left New York for good, I am simply on an excursion, and will find myself back in the city on Monday, no doubt aching with delight from a weekend well-spent.

I am already enthralled in suspense, anxious to see the first teams square off on Saturday morning. The tournament will feature 6 teams of 9; the GMs (captains) of each team faces the task of staffing the court with the most suitable 3 players from their rosters according to who they is active in the opposition and how they round out their fellow active teammates. Who will make the most effective calls? Which team will stand victorious when all is said and done? Time shall tell and by Sunday night the champions will stand out from the lineup!

Stretch & bend

It’s Saturday in New York and the streets are calling.

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Today I learned that it’s easier to walk than ride a bike to many places. Between being a mere block from Union Square and hopping the train with pedestrian friends, as well as the glut of taxi & truck traffic that makes the streets impassable at times, going by foot just ends up being most reasonable. Being an Angeleno, one from the Valley no less, walking (as a form of transportation) is a bit of a novelty.

My calves find it a novelty, too–by the days end they ached in a new way, pulling and stretching in a way pedaling just doesn’t do.

My first stop was the Post Office to ship out a couple much-delayed care packages, and then I was headed towards the notorious Union Square, for a stopoff at Barnes & Noble–and its exhaustive magazine selection, more specifically. On my way over I happened upon the farmer’s market in Union Square Park.

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Piles of carrots, radishes, garlic bulbs and greens–spinach, lettuce, chards and kales–punctuated the scene. The sweetly overpowering scent of apples swirled through the air. Artisanal breads, sausages, cheeses, pies and jams dotted the market between the farm and garden stands, one of which announced: “Last day for tomato plants.” The bounty made me nostalgic for my home kitchen and garden as I took in the regional offerings and sampled locally-made pickles, jam, and wine (I am now yearning to make a trip to the Seneca-based Anthony Road winery in the Finger Lakes wine country).

I wandered through the rest of the park as well, where the subtle scents of roses and hydrangeas mingled with the audible joy of small children and languid air of casual park patrons.image

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After my park-and-market stroll I ventured across the street to the bookstore, where I gathered an arms-full worth of magazines–everything from the New Yorker and Time to More, Bust, Bicycling, Self, Lantham’s, ReadyMade, Mental Floss and several others–and spent a few hours scanning and scouring in the name of professional research and inspiration. As the afternoon wore on, I departed and made my way to Coney Island and eventually a musical night in Brooklyn, which I shall detail in my next entry. I do hope you had a fulfilling Saturday too!