The diaries – Philly steak and engine heat / leak
Waking up in a motel in New Castle, Delaware (April 6). I almost ended up with a bust engine on the emergency lane of the freeway, having to call 911 or a tow truck (with no valid L?).
April 1, 2011
An April’s fool? Spent day walking in cold rainy streets of Stam, car is at shop, fixing two engine mounts instead of the one I was expecting. Let’s just hope that’s all I have to worry about for now, and that she’ll live up to the expectation. I dare not expand for fear of jinx.
Within roughly a week, my journey – the one on the road – will officially begin. I will spend a few days ( a week) in Canada before really hitting the US, down to Philly I believe.
I have now a good idea of the background project that I will work on during the next six months. I must say I have very high expectations, for myself, the results, as well as people’s reception.
My goal is no less than producing a series of large format pictures which, I hope, will become emblematic of their respective time and place. It is a bigger-scoped project than I have ever attempted before with pictures and visual art. And though my expectations are very high, I have yet to complete a satisfactory image of NY – the first of the series.
My hope is that each of these pictures, each representing one of the US’ major urban or natural landmarks / regions, will successfully capture, illustrate and express not only the physical traits of a place at a certain moment in time (architecture, weather, colors, etc.) but also the spirit of its people, life, its locale.
April 4, 2011
Stamford – NYC (drop off keys at previous roomate / landlord J, see G to give him some goodies, refilled engine cooling liquid (amateurishly) – go to MorrisTown, sneak row of seats into G’s grandfather’s barn – wrong way going south to I-76 (wanted to go North to I-80 and then West to Del. Water Gap) – west on I-76, check with a mechanic in Lebanon that engine light thought to be due to misfiring cylinder / spark plug is no biggie – drive on the small NJ roads northwards for half an hour near exit 12 – back to I-76 and NW-248 (still hoping to reach Del. Water Gap) – finally reach 476 (after missing other sideroads), take wrong way south, decide on Philly.
Adventures: driving without L, constant worry of cops, driving behind a tow truck towing a bus, sparks flying all over the road, setting up in Philly, sweet summer evening, sweaty and bare-chested, when a parking ticket officer peeked into the car and gasped with surprise and fright – she left me alone.
Also the countryside of NJ and DE, less so PA? But what a great phrase, “State of Independence’.
How much am I influenced by the warm summer weather? I already could see myself living here, probably more so than in NY. Monuments, pittoresque buildings (Central Philly which I only found, of course, after a few unnecessary detours, and got my first glimpse of the skyline at night) in style, unpretentious, warmer (figuratively and literally) than my last stay in Chicago, similar in its downtown feel.
But here, on a Monday evening, skaterboys, skatergirls, grinding the white steps, couples and packs of wolves outting for a drink, a schoolbus of college girls / high school going to a private party…
Friendly people, understandable accents, go PA!