A Travellerspoint blog

Hustle and bustle

Ever since I have left the south things have been nothing but hustling from one city to the next. It can really wear you down. Yesterday it was Cleveland today it's Cincinnati and tomorrow it's Chicago. Rolling from city to city day after day is a grind. I don't know how truckers and rock stars do it.

I am really looking forward to Chicago. Someone told me it has the largest collection of impressionist art in the US. I love Monet so I a excited at the prospect of viewing a number of his pieces first hand. The city also has two great baseball teams as well. Speaking of baseball these two games will be my last two on the road. Once I have finished with them I plan to write a small blurb about all the parks and review them.

Cleveland was a really nice city. It sits right on the edge of Lake Erie and is clean and very pretty. I have to say the fans of the Indians are some of the nicest people I have encountered at a ball park. Unlike the fans at Pittsburgh the were welcoming and genuinely nice. The stadium it self is really nice. Very pretty with a nice view of the skyline. The food was ok but not too pricey either.

Cleveland also boast the Rock and Roll hall of fame. The building itself is a very "interesting" piece of architecture. The hall of fame (as has been the case with the other hof I visited) was not what I expected. This one had tons of costumes and memorabilia. It was has a theater, which was playing "Help", that is open to the visitors. Great music playing all the time. Overall it was a great visit... except it is also set up to market music and music product. After walking through the H.O.F. you have no other way but to go through the gift shop to get out. I have to say that after walking around and looking at all these great artist I also fell prey to their trap and bought a couple of albums, oh well.

So I learned a new trick for surviving in a cheap motel. Sometimes some of the other patron (if you want to call them that) can be loud. If there is an inordinate amount of "noise" filtering through your walls (or ceiling in my case) you can drown out that "noise" by turning on the fan in the bathroom. I make a nice whitenoise generator and helps one get a little sleep over the din.

Cincinnati was a cup of coffee for me. I came in, saw a game and I am leaving this morning for Chicago. The Reds stadium was nice. It actually looks nicer on TV. I have to say of all the fans I have seen on this trip Reds fans are probably the worst (as far as team spirit). The Red Sox came in and handed them their lunch and the fans were leaving by the 5th inning. I don't know about you but if I pay $50 for a ticket (and I did) I am getting my moneys worth.

From here it is Chi-Town for four days. I know it will be wonderful and I will share it with you. More to come.

Posted by JustJ 06:12 Comments (0)

Best part of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is not the most beautiful city I have been in. I am glad that I am just passing through. I do have to say that the one shining star is PNC ball park. At this point I have been to eight other parks on this trip and eleven other parks total and PNC is by far the best. The view is incredible, the food is awesome and the seats are cheap. I sat six rows up form the dugout and I only paid $37. Not bad. I am not planning on staying long. From here it off to Cleveland. I am going to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Woo Hoo.

Posted by JustJ 08:08 Comments (0)

Beautiful skyline

The first thing I noticed as I went into Philadelphia was its beautiful skyline. It is a very pretty city. The historic district is great. Of course the Liberty Bell is he highlight. If you want to see Independence Hall get there early because the tickets sell out fast, I unfortunately was not there early enough.

I also went to see the statue of Rockie at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Apparently there was a lot of controversy about that statue and it has been moved a number of time. It no longer sits at the top of the stairs (the museum didn't even want it there at all) but to the side. More entertaining then the statue is all the lops that come there, pose with the statue then have their girlfriends/wives take pictures of them while they run up and down the stairs, hilarious.

Philli is one tough city. I saw more homeless and nefarious people in the small time I was there then I have in any other city besides West Memphis. I know that it was in my best interest to be out of town by dark. I want to take a little time to rail against the turnpike system. First let me say you don't have to use them but if you want to go directly to your destination you pretty much have no choice. They charge you to drive on the freeway. Coming from California that is a very foreign concept. If you leave the turnpikes you, of course, have to pay so they have little stops where you can buy gas and other sundries. These "convenience stops" are convenient for the merchants! The cost of simple items is outrageous. I am sure locals are smart and just buy their stuff before they get on the turnpike. Imagine my consternation at having to pay $5 for a can of RedBull! Anyway live and learn. Today the Pirates then off to Cleveland and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. More to come.

Posted by JustJ 05:28 Comments (0)

Hot, hot, hot

The heat in the city is different then any kind of heat I have encountered. It is like a brick oven, literally. All the brick buildings and cement absorbs all that heat and radiates it back, there is no breeze so it just sits and roast everything in it. Today Boston was in the low 90's with high humidity and I thought my brain was going to be cooked.

It is amazing what a little perseverance and time can do to change ones attitude. When I got up this morning I didn't want to go to Boston (except to see the game). When I got there using the commuter train I still didn't want to be there. I knew I had to kill about 6 hours before I could get to the game. I decided on a whim to get on of the tour buses that let you get on and off and just wander around the city. It was a very good choice. I was able to see all the historical sites I wanted to see and really enjoyed myself.

The USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) was really the highlight of the day. She is really a beautiful sailing ship. The Museum has a small film that shows her on the ocean and it is quite majestic. The Navy also offers a tour of the ship which I highly recommend. I was able to eat at the Union Oyster House, which has been in business since 1826. The food is great and not too expensive for a tourist town.

The people in Boston are different then I have seen in other big cities. The are down right nice. They make eye contact and smile, start conversations just because are seem to really mean it. The time for the RedSox game was changed and if the ice cream vendor I met hadn't started a conversation with me and told me of the time change I would have never made it. People in NYC are helpful but they are not about to just engage a stranger in conversation like Bostonians would. I don't think I could live here, it is hard to get around, I didn't like the subway and it is expensive, but I really like the people. The town of Boston is beautiful, historic and interesting but not for me.

Off to Philli tomorrow. More to come.

Posted by JustJ 21:10 Comments (0)

Me and my TomTom

Upstate New York is picturesque. Rolling hill dense forest with quaint little homes on fields of wheat. The lush green smell of fertility abounds. I couldn't help be struck by the thought that any people that knew this land well could fight an army very effectively. I wonder how the Indians could lose to us in such conditions. Amazing. After the hustle and bustle of NYC it was kind of an eerie feeling to be all alone on the road. In the city there is no time when you feel alone and once I got up north there were long stretches of solitude.

I had driven north for two reasons. I wanted to see Bill W.'s house. A small house in a small town about an hour outside of NYC. Unfortunately it was Sunday so there were no tours and almost no one on the grounds. I was able to sit and reflect for a few moments before I got back on the road but a bit of a disappointment. Speaking of disappointments... the other reason I went north was to see the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown. Now I am sure that because I love baseball and think it is the best game in the world that I had unreal expectations. I expected Cooperstown to a medium sized city with some hustle and bustle and the museum to be impressive. Ahh, no... Cooperstown is in the middle of nowhere. It cant have a population of 10k and the museum is not what I expected. It had a lot of cool memorabilia and stats (love stats) but it didn't come close to my expectations.

I know I have gushed about my TomTom before but let me do it again. It has taken me across the country and around and around. Almost 10k miles at this point. Because I have spent untold hours in my car, by myself, listening to its soft British accent and husky female voice, I have started to have conversations with it. When I have to pull of to get gas, either I am not smart enough to program it to know or it isn't smart enough to understand that I need gas ( I have to bet its both of us, if you were to combine our IQ's I hazard a guess we would come in under 100) it goes crazy and immediately wants me get back on the freeway, we have a brief argument and I win. I have to say, I have been fighting the urge to refer to the TomTom as "she", at least I am maintaining some kind of objectivity. The main reason I bring up the TomTom is that it took me on some of the craziest back roads yesterday. Unpaved and rutted in the middle of the woods. It seemed like it was getting back at me for yelling at it, or more likely the oppressive humidity had rotted its little electronic brain. All ended well, I arrived in Cooperstown for my second disappointment of the day.

From there it was off to Boston. I really like to drive during the day. I can see so much more. I have no idea what Boston or its surrounding area looks like but I plan to spend the next day and a half finding out. I am sure the city is a beautiful as I have heard. More to come.

Posted by JustJ 05:26 Comments (0)

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