Funland

July 25th, 2011

resizedTwenty-two years ago this weekend, I left Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, with two grand in my pocket, a hot bike lashed to my VW Rabbit, and a tiny bit of blow in my nose.

Back then, we mocked the families we served at Funland, checking out the young, hot, sunburned moms as we strapped their panicky toddlers into kiddie rides, and tearing down the straight-laced, khakied dads as we fleeced them for plush.

This week, I was that guy, navigating the boardwalk with a stroller and an armload of supplies. This week, I was in the backseat, nursing ...

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The Cruelty Of The Curbside Cab Line

April 27th, 2011

resizedFew things bring out New Yorkers' lesser selves than the Penn Station taxi line during an Easter downpour.

It's also one of just a few scenarios capable of adding insult the injury of a late train and an exhausted ten-month-old.

We were nearly three-hours behind on a one-hour trip by the time we stepped off Acela #2256 at 8pm Sunday night.

Maggie was strapped to my chest, her sweet, slightly-sweaty hair matted to her forehead just a few inches from my lips. She was well-past her bedtime, and shy one crucial afternoon nap, alternating ...

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City Island

May 10th, 2010

resizedIt took me less than an hour back in the city to spot a dead body.

I opted to shake of my sixteen-hour commute from Yemassee, SC, to New York, NY, on Amtrak's Silver Meteor last week with a bike ride (inspired secondarily by a rapidly approaching triathlon in July).

I pedaled my Cannondale north to 103d Street, then east across the pedestrian bridge connecting Harlem to Ward's Island. Ward's and the adjacent (and connected) Randall's Islands are home to huge tracts of grassa and athletic fields, as well as several public facilities, ...

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The Silver Meteor

May 5th, 2010

resizedFor 1600 miles and thirty hours this week, Abbi and I sat reading, writing, and resting as Amtrak's Silver Meteor ushered us roundtrip from New York City to Yemassee, South Carolina.

It was an experience.

Our 6' x 4' sleeper room was pure, NASA-age innovation. The sink folds down. The toilet folds up. The top bunk descends from the ceiling, and is narrow enough to require a web of seat belt-like webbing. Cup holder, light switches, vents, hooks, hangers and storage are tucked into every nook and cranny.

Leg room is scarce, but ...

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Moment Of Zen: Litchfield Beach

March 30th, 2010

resizedLitchfield Beach sits just south of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a broad and flat stretch of sand at the center of Long Bay.

I rose before dawn to greet the sunrise there, hit the sand, and turned north towards Murrell's Inlet. The waves were soft and low, the water grayish-blue. The sun peaked over the water a few miles into my run, just as the modest, gray-clapboard houses gave way to the rolling dunes of Huntington Beach Park.

I jogged into the park at a break in the sand, following a shallow creek to a pond bolstered by evergreen ...

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The Wave

February 4th, 2010

resizedFunny story from Dominican Republic. Sort of.

Our hotel, Casa Colonial, was wedged in the middle of Playa Dorado, a World Bank-funded hotel, golf course and mall development roughly half-way between the Puerto Plata Airport, and Puerto Plata itself. Again, I can't say enough nice things about the hotel itself, and particularly the staff. Playa Dorado, was oddly-contrived (horse-drawn carriages to shuttle pedestrians the literally dozens of feet between hotels, for example) and antiseptic, though. It took me less than twelve hours to ...

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Nuestra Magnifica Luna Del Bebé A La Casa Colonial

February 1st, 2010

resizedRemember those single-panel "Family Circus" cartoons where illustrator Jeff Keane drew a rambling, dotted line to indicate little Billy's often-mischievous and always-circuitous routes around his neighborhood?

Were Mr. Keane to illustrate Abbi and my week in the Domincan Republic, he wouldn't need to use much ink.

Casa Colonial provided VIP treatment from the start, ushering us through customs, into a waiting van, and straight to our room. Suite Six (or Doña Rosa, so named for the owner), was a five-room affair: living room, dining ...

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The Year In Photos, 2009

December 31st, 2009

resizedWhat a year. From The Inauguration to The Oscars to my tenth New York City Marathon, no previous loop around the sun has been more jam-packed with mind-blowing moments.

I played the Iowa State Fair, contributed a song to The Nadas "Crystalline" compilation, and helped raise four grand (and counting) for 826NYC with "A Holiday Benefit, Vol. 3."

I spent a week on Bray's Island, one on Grand Cayman, and another in Nantucket. I took in The Brickyard 400 (and many Foster's oil cans), celebrated Abadfest 2: Electric Boogaloo, and narrowly ...

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Up In The Air

December 29th, 2009

resizedI accrued 49,000 AAdvantage miles this year. Not Ryan Bingham numbers, to be sure. But enough to get myself to Puerto Rico and back (if I could only find available departure dates).

His is a familiar world: the poetic geometry of the Midwest from 30,000 feet, the satisfaction of finding one's name on the Hertz Gold board, the comforting uniformity of Starwood hotel rooms Admirals Clubs everywhere.

Sure, I loathe take-offs (though I get by with a little help from my friend, Xanax), but I love flying. I love the anonymity, the ...

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Goodnight, L.A.

December 4th, 2009

resizedThe American Airlines Admiral's Club is actually kinda' rockin' right now. I'm gonna' put occupancy at 74%. And I'm also gonna' bet half of those are on my midnight red eye.

A guy in a brown sweater and wire-framed glasses just ladelled some Ranch Dressing onto a plastic cup of carrots and celery. A woman in a black Ed Hardy wife beater stepped to the bar. And the fella' next to me just emptied his mini-magnum of champagne. Me, I'm tearing through a Sam Adams; all the better for sleeping, you see.

And so concludes another thirty-six ...

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