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Monthly Archives: May 2009

Suzanne Vega Live.


I went with a friend to see Suzanne Vega play an acoustic show at the Sanctuary Concerts in Chatham, New Jersey. If you rely on the radio to give you a sense of what’s happening in the pop music world, you haven’t heard much from Ms. Vega recently. In corporate radio terms she remains a […]

David Foster Wallace and Attention.


A fine speech by David Foster Wallace, a writer who committed suicide last fall.  His style does not appeal all that much, and the first half of this speech wanders a bit without saying much, but it has a real truth which is worth pondering.

Table Mountain, from Wildcat Mountain.


Table Mountain, in the Catskills, mid-May.

Stage Five: Washington to New York.


I arrived in Washington in the afternoon.  I stayed with a friend from junior high school, whom I had last seen while in college.  She lived just off Pennsylvania Avenue, in a nice neighborhood where Foggy Bottom meets Georgetown meets Dupont Circle.  We parked the truck and went for an afternoon walk, first to Rock […]

Stage Four: Charlottesville to D.C.


I spent two nights in Charlottesville, enjoying the delightful conversation of my hostess as well as the cultured atmosphere of the town.  Here there is a flourishing pedestrian culture – Market Street having been entirely converted to a pedestrian mall – as well as bookshops, pizzerias, and the like.  I admired the spring gardens and […]

Third Stage: Cherokee National Forest to Charlottesville.


I woke up early – one of the perks of camping – and hit the road immediately.  I wanted to visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  I was wary of paying in order to get my nature-fix, but I figured that the National Park designation meant that I would see real, undisturbed forest.  It was […]

Second Stage.


From Birmingham, Alabama, I drove up to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where I stopped briefly to have a look around.  It was a much larger city than I thought it would be, and far more pleasant.  The most important thing – the indicator of health – was that there were real, live pedestrians. A fair amount of […]

In Charlottesville again.


I have made my way back to Charlottesville – one of the stops on the way down – after having seen, en route, Birmingham, Montgomery, Selma, and Chattanooga.  Highlights: Vulcan in the “Magic City,” doing the whole Selma-Montgomery highway, camping out in the Cherokee National Forest, hiking in Great Smoky National Park, seeing the minor […]

On the road.


Selma, Alabama, from its famous bridge.  Here Alabama state troopers twice successfully prevented Civil Rights marches led by Martin Luther King from crossing the Alabama River.  The city has not altered its appearance in forty years.

Technically, not a good start to the trip.


A fair number of problems on the road.  The oil-pressure gauge started convulsing wildly while driving on I-12 not that far from Baton Rouge, and I pulled into a gas station and added four quarts of oil before I got a reading on the dipstick.  The oil started dripping out everywhere.  I went to a […]