Posts tagged “simon & garfunkel

USA October 2009 : I – New York, NY

Taxi to station, train to airport, plane to JFK. Gonna be a long day.

…and so it proved, and not just because I would end it 5 time zones to the west of where I began it.

5th October
Even the date is exciting today.  It’s been on the horizon for so long I feared it might never arrive.  On the 1027 EMT service to St Pancras, travelling First Class; this is the way to do it.  A whole other world.

1041
Still here.  Technical difficulties.  What a day for it!  Doing my best not to panic, but contingency plans are forming.

Movement!

After the initial hiccup, all seems to be well now.

The tone of mild dread apparent in the above was because the train was not moving.  It was a farcical scene, passengers stood on the platform wondering when the doors were going to open, then giving up and filing through the  single set of doors that did open.  Once we’d walked the length of the train to get back to our seats, we waited while 10:27 came and went and nothing happened.  Somehow, it wasn’t reassuring; just like your temperamental Windows 95 machine (remember those days!), the answer is to turn it off and turn it back on again. Trains can be rebooted apparently, and eventually this seemed to have the desired effect. (more…)


America II

Michigan seems like a dream to me now
[…]
I’ve gone to look for America

Paul Simon, America

Assume for a minute that the Michigan in question is the lake rather than the state and these words seem almost prophetic, or at the very least like a paraphrasing of the sort of statement I’ve uttered countless times.

This probably doesn’t make a huge amount of sense to most of you.  Before I progress any further then, I should at least begin some sort of account of my last (and first, if you’ll excuse the jarring nature of putting those two in close proximity; the English language is a strange and wonderful beast!) trip to the United States.

There is, I’m reasonably convinced, nothing in the experience of the average British 18-year-old that prepares you for your first sight of one of the truly great American cities.  No amount of photos or guidebook accounts can prepare you for the first time you approach, at ground level, the sheer cliff face of the metropolis, rising out of a morass of suburbia.  (more…)