Wherein a small child invades NYC

Yesterday I began my extended holiday early by heading into New York City for The Moppet’s first trip into the big, bad city. After a sprint to catch the train, it started like this:


And ended like this:


And in between there was stuff like this:


Overall it was more of a proof of concept than a true holiday excursion. There was no real planning beyond, “Let’s go to the city and see the big tree.” Which was somewhat silly to do so close to Christmas, but miraculously worked out.

We started with a lovely lunch at Le Pain Quotidien (which means The Quotidien Bread – thank you 4 years of high school French!) as The Woman used to frequent there for their decadent hot chocolate. After which we made our way over to one of the most famous toy stores… only 3 days before Christmas. Brilliant, I know. Surprisingly, once past the main entrance and all of the mammoth stuffed animals, the store was “relatively quiet.” Very busy, but certainly not the hectic nightmare of consumerism I had expected.

Once the nonstop parade of toys she can’t play with began to overwhelm Kayleigh, we packed up and headed to see “a really big tree.” Yes, that was enough to convince her that there was more to see outside. Thanks to a little help from Facebook we were able to meet up with a friend in the area who was even kind enough to take a picture of us in front of said tree. Maybe someday I’ll get around to posting it. In the meantime, just picture three people in front of a really huge tree. That’s close enough.

And that was also enough for us. Come spring time I’d like to really walk around with The Moppet and introduce her to the joys of CD shopping in The Village and fighting tourists in Times Square, but 4 hours was enough stress for now. Especially with the regular addition and subtraction of many layers that sort of, but not quite, kept us at decent temperatures. Still, she was quite the trooper throughout the tramping around such a strange environment and was even kind enough to fall asleep in her stroller for the walk back to Penn Station.

Fortunately she woke up in time for her favorite part – staring out the window of a moving train.

My week of Wawa

When they began development on a vacant lot about a quarter mile off my usual commute I didn’t pay much mind. Not too surprisingly they started to dig up the ground to put in some tanks. A gas station seemed to be the obvious choice for the location. If nothing else it might add a little convenience – but a new gas station in New Jersey isn’t something to get excited about.

And then the building began to take shape. There seemed to be a familiar feeling to the store front. A particular angled roof appeared that hearkened back to a place that heavily populated my childhood.

No. It couldn’t be. Not here in north Jersey…

Yes, yes it was. A WAWA! Not just anywhere, but right along my daily commute!

It may seem silly, but in a land populated with Dunkin Donuts every 5 miles, Starbucks on every corner and crappy 7-11s and their ilk in the most inconvenient locations one thing I have certainly missed is Wawa. Growing up you could hardly swing proverbially dead cats without hitting them. But like many of the great Philly treats, they dried up once you crossed I78 or so.

But the grand opening last Friday signaled a new era in my professional life. One that includes a chance to stop off for cheap and tasty built-to-order hoagies, pork roll sandwiches and fresh-brewed roadside coffee whenever I so desire. And with coffee being free this week, I have most definitely been in the desirin’ mood. Everyday has offered me the chance to sample a different variety of greasy breakfast goods with questionable nutritional value. How many other places give me the opportunity to bite into a ciabatta roll filled with philly cheesesteak and sauteed onions (oh yeah, and egg) before 9 am?

Once the free coffee dries up I’ll need to limit myself, but in the meantime… oh the times I shall have…

10 things from my really boring life

The topic of Livejournal has popped up a couple times on the social network du jour. More specifically the topic of “Does anyone still use Livejournal?” has popped up. Of course I was never much into the service to begin with. Aside from the occasional annoying meme or “anyone free?” post, my account was merely to view all the juicy details of my friends’ sordid lives. Not surprisingly it’s pretty useless these days…

Recently it came to my attention that the private feeds I used to keep track of you all had stopped working – largely because I accidentally deleted them. Not only did it take me months to realize, but once I logged back in there was almost nothing to read. No offense to those of you still writing there, but maybe 2 or 3 people had written anything in the last 6 months with most accounts blank for the year.

So it’s time for me to cut ties with that sinking ship. The only posts that really mattered were imported years ago, but I did notice one labelled “10 things from my really boring life” that seemed to fit the typically boring content over here:

  1. Helped an old lady cross a street in NYC.
  2. Stabbed a good friend…
  3. Gotten so drunk my dad had to drive from train station to train station before he found me wandering around a deserted parking lot at the end of the line.
  4. Built a large window-sized structure completely out of Snapple bottles.
  5. Skied through clouds.
  6. Had my car totaled by a police officer.
  7. Been hit by a lawyer when I almost did something stupid in court.
  8. Built a dorm room that became a regular stop on campus tours.
  9. Got a guitar string from a famous musician (Roger Miller) and helped someone get one from another (Chris Cornell).
  10. Sued Apple… oh wait, that was a different Thomas Slattery… How about almost been killed at a concert?

Fascinating life I led, eh? Not that there’s much to add over 5 years later…