04 April 2014

road-trips and remembrances help make stories

The Fifth Day
text: molly holleran
photography: katie beth

Tuesday had the most pleasant weather of all our days in NYC. K&K had to move the car from the sweepers so HE and I started out on our own again. We went into Manhattan and walked around. I think we were looking for something, but we ended up on the waterfront by a bunch of nice housing. Park benches lined the walkway, and people jogged up and down it as we sat and talked. Sitting there, with the gentle sun on my face and a cool sea-breeze on my face overlooking the water is the first time I remember seeing the Statue of Liberty. She was fairly distant, but I got a few great shots of HE leaning against a lamp post. We walked to the Staten Island Ferry after K&K texted up to let us know they were on their way. We sat and talked on another bench outside as it was too nice to wait indoors. When K&K arrived we moved inside to wait for the next ferry. Many people take the ferry, in part for the free passage to Staten Island for work or play, but most I felt were tourists, enjoying a ride past the Statue of Liberty just as we were.

When we got off we walked over to a dock-like area with places to sit that overlooked the water and Lady L. There were copious amounts of goose droppings and I’m afraid my bag will never be the same. The four of us sat there and wrote for a while. I pulled out my sketchpad and watercolor set to paint. Many tourists came by and we helped them take pictures. It’s kind of odd taking a vacation photo for someone else. You are helping memorialize a moment but you will be forgotten. A number of the visitors were not from around here. One was a family with a little boy who was chattering away in French while his father took pictures. Another was a group of vaguely European men. They did not speak long enough for me to pinpoint an area. A woman from Ukraine came and spoke to us for a while. She had migrated to America while two of her close friends moved to Israel to Vancouver, and Seattle, twenty years ago. They wrote letters back and forth. Ten years ago they went and had a reunion. The woman felt it was time for another one. She said that she had never met her friend’s children and would like to.

We boarded the ferry and went back to the apartment. Earlier on Monday we realized that our infixed adventure, a day trip to New Hampshire to visit KJ’s childhood home, might present further problems. A storm was brewing in New England and there was the possibility that we would be stranded there until Thursday. Nevertheless, we piled into the repaired Bruce and began our drive into New Hampshire. Our feelings were mixed as we drove up, excited to see a place that KJ had not seen in ten years, nervous about the weather, and concerned for all the memories and emotions that a trip through time would have on her. We drove deep into the night and New Hampshire woods. It was very odd to drive through places so familiar to me. We passed the exit where I contradance on Monday nights, an hour from my house, and drove an hour beyond that. We reached the place we would stay the night around 1am and were greeted by a very sweet family. We collapsed into bed and slept.

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