Start of the Journey…
I hopped on the train to Montreal from Washington, DC the first day. Although it was a seemingly long train ride of 10 hours, which would be nothing compared to some the later stretches, it was also one of the most scenic ones that I have been on. Barreling through the Annorondack Mountains with amazing grand vistas (thank you Bill Crombie) of the Hudson River Valley, these were some great scenes to the American North East that I had never seen before. Without a doubt, a good way to start the journey as I pulled into Canada, eh.
After saying goodbye to the fellow random travelers on the train, I parted ways and started to hoof it on my own through the city. I feel this the best way to get acquainted with a new cityscape, when you don’t have to worry about someone else and all you have is a backpack, just start trekking. The first thing I noticed cruising around the streets at dusk was A) oh yeah, they really do all speak French up here, this must actually be a foreign country, and B) the graffiti on the walls. Although I had seen some really insane murals riding in trains and chilling in places like New York City, these ones really stood out as I made my way to the Latin Quarter where my hostel, Le Jazz, was located.
The hostel was just what I was looking for… clean rooms, prime location to some fun bars and live music with easy access to the sites during the day, and quality people, especially the cute Nova Scotian chick who checked me in. Even though my forefathers would probably be rolling around in their graves for me spending Memorial Day in French speaking Canada, we did actually have a belly fillingly delicious cook out that day. Chilling with people from all over Europe, the States, and can’t forget about those Aussies who are everywhere… this is what made me really miss traveling.
Aside from Mad Max, Road Warrior, Beyond Thunderdome… what other Aussie movies are there? …I learned about another crazy movie from down under that I need to check out soon…
Hopefully I’ll be back to Montreal again as it was a lot of fun, and they apparently have music and film festivals going all summer long. And sorry Troy for not meeting up the fellow hostelers in NYC for your reunion show and some ribs at the Dinosaur BBQ… will be back.
Song of the day from guitar on the back deck… fits in with the trip as well…
Then it was off to busing it to Boston for a hot minute (sorry Chris and congrats with Berkley but it really was a minute, just had to see the city for a bit). Still need to check out The Middle East for a dream show of Mr. Lif, Edan, and dare I say it, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, with some Dropkick Murphy’s thrown in for good measure as these are really the only Boston bands I know (Mr. Lif and The Bosstones also already have ridiculous live albums from The Middle East). Are Pixies from around them parts too? Anyways, after a few hours walking around this city it was back to good ol’ NYC.
New York City just feels like a black hole now. Not necessarily in a bad way, just that it always sucks me back in, I wander around the streets just meeting all types of interesting people, get into all kinds of wild spur of the moment adventures, and then it just spits me out… this time heading in the direction of Chicago. I could go on and on about NYC, but I’ll spare you the rambling… whenever you have a free weekend, just go, and see what you get into. It was also while I was here where it donned on me, that hey, that old dude rode his bike across the country for cancer research, I should really push that prosthetic knee to the max and just keep walking around the world on a shoe-string budget, and all in the name of fighting cancer! Fuck that disease for keeping me in bed for nearly two years… I’ll raise awareness, funds for research, and hopefully show children going through cancer treatment now, that all is not lost… you too can conquer this world.
After spending the night in Penn Station… weird half awake haze with people stumbling around drunk back from the bars mixed in with some just straight up schizophrenics, it was off to Chicago! The Windy City! Deep Dish Pizza! Blues Brothers! And only 28 hours away! What in the world was I thinking?! But hey, New York didn’t go exactly as planned… have to go back in September for shit from New Years, Dad getting on my back, apparently AICR was having a conference out there, and my buddy had been bugging me nonstop for awhile now to go, so why not? And with the promise of music festivals going on all weekend, I was on my way.
I guess the 28 hour train ride had something to do with the train going back down through DC (should I have just got off there?), through Virginia, West Virginia, then Cinci, Indi, and finally Chi-town. So far it’s been alright, and as of now I’m rolling through West Virginia with some river gorge right out my window at sunset. Not too shabby. Learned about some new bands to check out as well, The Meatmen… apparently some DC natives, The Smiths (completely forgot about that song “How Soon is Now?”, and along with The Waxing Poetics out of Virginia Beach. So until next time… keep it classy San Diego.
Meatmen covering The Smiths classic…
River in West Virginia viewed from train… deliverance mixed with star guitar?
I think Mr. Dibbs did a rad dueling banjos routine… thought I had it, guess not.
I really do have to put this video up every time I’m on a train. Just gotta.