Voyager Returns

photo, outside grand central station, midtown, new york city Early morning in midtown.

To Leaky, Cool Paradise

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 26. November:–  Landing in Paris last Wednesday after a forgettable flight from New York was so routine we were on the runway while I was still reading the emergency instructions for a crash in the Atlantic. "The escape hatch may be behind you." Then again, it may not. My favorite – "Do not inflate the life vest before you find the escape hatch!" Not included in the life–saving instructions – "If there's any left, choose chicken instead of the salmon."

Kinda Fine – Maybe

It just goes to show that no matter how long one stays in balmy New York when you return to Paris the place is completely different. When I left on 20. October the leaves were still mostly green and hanging on for their lives. Last Wednesday they were all gone and there was a hellish light all over the place that I only expected to encounter on the lookout platform of the Rockefeller Center thing, on a day I went up it because there's a subway station is in the basement.

So, yes, folks, it was sunny in Paris for my return after being mostly sunny in New York and Washington and I was mighty glad to have it. The heat is on in my apartment and it is struggling to overcome extremely low temperatures which are actually higher than normal, statistically, and my heat is losing the contest. That does not mean it is extraordinarily cold here. It means that whether I want to or not, polar icebergs are safe here in my place.

photo, poster, edward hopper expo, national gallery, washington dc Hopper expo in Washington

The rules of fives says that semi–winter sunshine always makes room for miserable cloudy skies that are characteristic of crummy days in Europe. However Tuesday will only be slightly foggy, cloudy, perhaps a tad rainy, all day long with hardly any wind and a high temperature of 10 degrees, about two more than over the weekend. If you can overlook these minor details it may seem kinda fine.

Wednesday, in contrast, will be crummy. But to tell the truth the forecast always paints a bleaker picture than reality, with the exception of the Alerts Oranges, of which there are none at the moment. The temperature will vary a bit too, with an expectation of only 9 lousy degrees. Frankly Thursday will be unremarkable too. I have classed it as real crummy on account of the onshore 70 kph breezes slugging the shores of the Channel and there may be some whistling around here even though it's not near there.

Our intrepid forecaster Météo Jim in the New World across the Atlantic mistakenly thought Ed was on holidays in Parts Unknown. Other than Arlington, Virginia, I was in known parts. Here's Météo Jim's version of Mr. G:–

Thankfully, Fall Finally Fell

The first half of October was hijacked by the Servants of Summer who ordered that record highs of 80 degrees or more be registered on Pommelandian thermometers. These lackeys were eventually overthrown and banished, but it caused the trees to cease changing colors and try to undo the flavors of fall.

photo, sign, please curb your dog

Finally fall fell, but not the leaves. They stayed on the trees and bushes, not knowing what to do. Coaxed by cooler temperatures and shorter days, they began changing into their autumnal wardrobe.

However, the week of November 18 saw up to 6 a–inches of snow fall along with lots of leaves. This was also the week of le Jour d'action de grace when Pommelanders – and everybody else – sings, "Le cru est bu, le devin Bojo" to mark the 25th anniversary of the intro of Bojo Novo.

On Thursday, everybody sang, "Il est cuit, le devin dindon." After a couple of hours of drinking and eating, the two songs became thoroughly mixed, but by then, nobody could tell a cru from a dindon.

For the week ahead, temperatures will rise to about 50 a–grad – normal – along with heavy rain Monday night. On Wednesday, Nov. 28, the tree at Rockefeller Center will be illuminated accompanied by the usual Grosse Pomme extravaganzas and will be there until January 3.

"A la prochaine, Météo Jim"

photo, fall leaves, olana, new york state, oct 21 Peak leaves at Olana near the Hudson.

Café Life

500 Photos, at Least

I don't feel like confessing but I will say that I have just spent six weeks in New York, in case there was any mystery about my whereabouts. It was my first time there in the fall season and I even got the opportunity to go upstate and seek the peak, leafwise. They were just getting set for their big show, and eventually it was still going on weeks later all the way down to Washington, DC.

The weather was sort of the way the year began – very mild. I only got soaked once in the rain that New York can have, and that was on the second day. There was brilliant sunshine in Coney Island for my check–up visit.

photo, shoot the freak, boardwalk, coney island, brooklyn Count on Coney Island.

Let's see, for eats – I ate at a Korean restaurant, at a Malaysian one, at two Turkish places, at the familiar Mexican and Chinese favorites, at an Upper East Side Italian restaurant, a southern–style joint on the Upper West Side, at Katz' Deli on Houston Street and at Junior's in Brooklyn. Most unusual was having some Momo from a Tibetan street cart. Excuse me while I burp.

You don't need to ask if I went to B & H Photo on 9th Avenue in midtown. They heard I was coming and opened their new upstairs photo department only slightly smaller than a football field just in time. I even took Nigel there and he said it was wonderful. We didn't buy anything much but it was heady stuff.

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