Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Friends, family, and the importance of reliable public transportation

Over Memorial Day weekend, Sam and I journeyed to his former homeland and our old stomping grounds in New Jersey, New York, and yes, even Astoria. Our trip was even a little longer I think than when I was there at Christmas, but the time seemed to fly by. I also found myself missing New York more than during that December visit. I guess because it was cold then and this time we were blessed with beautiful weather constantly. Also, last time many friends were traveling, so while I got longer quality visits with those folks that were in town, there were fewer people to see. Riding the subway from Astoria into the city to meet friends, even though the train was unreasonably slow (the rumors are true: the MTA service is definitely suffering), I was nostalgic for riding that same path however many hundreds of times before.

Sam was supposed to be taking a picture of the adorable Fiat that was our transportation for the weekend. It's basically a vespa masquerading as a car. 
 For some reason rather than plan one group meet up, I arranged to meet friends from different groups in rapid succession. This allowed for more quality one-on-one time, but shorter meet-ups in general. Since we met four groups of friends for drinks one after another over the course of the evening, it also led to our getting very drunk. (Which reminds me, another thing I'm nostalgic for: the not-worrying-about-driving-home-end-of-the-night-two-martini-special).

Drinking and chatting took priority over taking photos with friends, but I do have some from earlier in the day at Central Park. This was a cool art piece. All the cable spools have colored roped representing the length of different paths through the park. 

The site of some of our engagement photos years ago. The angel from the Bethesda fountain looks like it's coming out of my head, but otherwise this is totally on par with the professional pics. 
After spending the night with friend in Astoria, we headed back to New Jersey for a BBQ at Sam's parents house. Friends, kids, dogs, and good food were all in attendance. The next door neighbors were also having a big party complete with what we can only assume was the Spotify playlist "Lesser Known Songs by 1990s One Hit Wonders" which provided a nice background ambiance to our own festivities.
BBQ party people!
The whole crew! Except whoever is taking the picture, I guess. 

Actually the above picture was a lie because it didn't include the gracious host and hostess of the party. 

 We had a devil of a time getting back to Austin on Memorial Day due to the massive rainstorms and flooding. After an unplanned 7 hour diversion to Houston, we finally made it back to find our house un-flooded and our cat only mildly perturbed. The tri-state area has some wonderful things and, more importantly, some wonderful people, but it is always nice to be home. That said, I'm still bummed about missing Shakespeare in the Park with Sam Waterston. I mean, it's Sam Waterston!

One final shot. From Madison Square Park and their summer art piece. Always may favorite public art piece in the city. 


  1. Sam Waterston is pretty cool. But maybe he visits Austin sometimes! I have no idea what's going on in that last picture, but it's very interesting.

  2. That's fair. It's a bunch of mirrors hanging above the sidewalks of the park. So in the photo we're looking up at it. Here's what it looks like from the side: