Hejira

 

going home

September 3. 2000

scenes from NYC, yesterday:

the film forum

the film forum

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the film forum again

the film forum again, gracing the main page

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subways again

14th street station

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subway car

subway car, kind of dark and mysterious

Going home on Friday for the funeral was really odd. I prowled around the house on Friday night, feeling kind of nervous and displaced. Home didn't feel like home anymore. I had a real urge to just go back to Philadelphia, because that place finally felt like home, not Lebanon.

The funeral was nice. As nice as a funeral can be. It was weird seeing Sabrina, she looked tired and thinner than I remembered her. The funeral home was packed with people. Several touching speeches were made by friends and relatives. I decided not to attend the burial because, as the funeral was concluding, a huge thunderstorm broke. I cried the most as I was looking at the many pictures that were hung up on easels, and during the speeches, and when I hugged Sabrina.

*sigh*

Meghan and I got together that night for a late dinner. We went to the local Friendly's. The service was abymismally slow (the appetizers took a half hour), but we had so much to talk about and catch up on, it didn't really matter. She's an RA at her college, and is majoring in history and minoring in French and peacemaking (she explained what that was to me, but I still don't understand it). It was so nice to talk to her, the conversation was fluid, and we both had so much to say we tripped over each other's words and sentences.

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I went to NYC over Saturday night to see John. I have been to NYC many many times in the past year, almost always going by bus, except of course when I'm in Lebanon, which is so far out of the way that buses are impractical, so I drive. But the point is I have been on many buses and in many different bus stations. And there are always a couple things you can count on, no matter what: 1. bus station bathrooms are stinking cesspools, 2. whichever bus you get on will be permeated with any variety of unpleasant smells, 3. you will seat yourself in proximity of small, noisy children, and 4. When you go to NYC, you always arrive 30-45 minutes late. When going back to Philly you will always arrive 15-20 minutes early.

Go Greyhound.

But I digress. I got to the bus station at around 2:30, and got in line for the 3 o'clock bus. Then they tell us the bus is full, but there is another New York Express right next to it. New York Express means direct to New York, no other stops. So I get on, and the bus pulls away, and the driver informs us that this is the 2:30 bus to New York City, with a stop in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, scheduled to arrive at 4:40. I was a little pissed, but I figured it would be okay to arrive 20 minutes earlier than expected.

So we get to Mt. Laurel, and the bus breaks down. So we wait for about a half hour, and then get on another bus that, to my annoyance, had a stop in Newark before going to NYC. So we stop in Newark, wait another half hour. I finally get to NYC at 5:30, highly pissed, sweaty and hot.

But I did have a good time with John. We went to eat in the Village, at a little burrito place called Harry's, and then went to see two movies at the film forum. The first time in my life I've seen two movies in one night.

They were both documentaries, one called "Dark Days", about homeless people who lived in Penn Station's Amtrak tunnels, and the other, "Gimme Shelter", about the Rolling Stones' concert at Altamonte. I was really anticipating "Dark Days", but I wasn't that impressed. For one, it had definite stylistic echoes of "The Blair Witch Project" (which I loathed), and it just wasn't as adventurous and original as I thought it would be. The ending was (as the NY Times Review pointed out) just a little too good to be true. All the homeless people leave their makeshift homes in the tunnel and get apartments and jobs.

"Gimme Shelter" was better, although I was a bit tired and dozed off at some points. I didn't even know what had happened at Altamonte (for those of you don't know, it was a free concert the Stones gave in 1969 where a couple people were killed, and one of them, a stabbing, was caught on tape). Say what you want about Mick Jagger, but he has definite charisma when performing, and seeing him gave me an appreciation for that particular talent.

One Year Ago:
I start this thing.