sovay: (Lord Peter Wimsey: passion)
Night on the Northeast Corridor: we just left Westerly, where the deserted station and the still sodium-lit street and the one red neon sign on the corner of the brick-faced block looked like a backlot after hours, an empty set waiting for its actors and crew. We worked our way back from Tarrytown on the Metro-North and picked up the Amtrak Regional at New Haven. It wasn't exactly late, but it pulled up some minutes after the automated announcement system had already summoned all passengers to the platform and given us the final boarding call for a train that hadn't yet arrived. The station at night looks exactly like itself except that the blue-white flatscreen glare of the new departure board interferes with the low-light orange wash of the sodium vapor everywhere else in the waiting room. (Eventually we relocated to sit with our backs to the board, figuring we would hear the announcements if anything changed. It glows and it scrolls: it makes you want to look at it even when you don't want to. I miss the flackering sound of the old display. The automated system now addresses itself to "customers" instead of "passengers.") I didn't see anyone I knew. I did not feel impelled to look in my wallet for eight dollars for a taxi to Lynwood Place. I don't think I will ever like being in New Haven, but it isn't haunted ground for me anymore. At least that's true for the train station, but I spent so many hours there between Boston and New York, it's a not insignificant reclamation.

Yesterday's reading went well; I had brought mostly new poems, but took one request out of Ghost Signs (2015) after Alisa Kwitney asked if I had anything about the fall of the Roman Empire. I got to hear Jenn Brisett read a chapter from her just-completed sequel to Elysium (2014) and then the afternoon I intended to spend in the dealer's room or browsing other people's panels turned into a three-hour nap, which I think cannot actually have been a bad thing considering last week. We were still wary of the hotel restaurant when we woke and it was late and lazily sunny outside, so we headed out to dinner at the Eldorado Diner, located perhaps half a mile down Main Street from the Westchester Marriott. It was slightly exciting: Main Street in this stretch of Tarrytown is NY 119 and it does not so much believe in sidewalks. Or crosswalks. It does believe in four lanes of traffic. But we did not turn into a game of Frogger; I had a chocolate egg cream and the largest open-faced Reuben I have encountered since the demise of Café Edison; we ended up at the next table to the party of people we had just said goodbye to before leaving the hotel and intermittently talked film with them. On the way home, we walked the concrete verge of the underpass so as not to step on either dead pigeons or broken bottles—both of which we had seen on the journey out—and felt vaguely adolescent and reckless with the cars booming by six feet below. [personal profile] spatch went up to the room when we got back and watched Saturday Night Live actually live for the first time in years and I peeled off for the Zacherley tribute, which included a condensed version of House of Frankenstein (1944), and a 16 mm screening of Night of the Living Dead (1968) courtesy of Movie Mike, with introduction by Edward X. Young and commentary-discussion during the reel changes. I would like very much to write about it and can make no promises, except to say that the racial angle has really not become less relevant at all.

We hit the dealer's room this morning instead—I could still not afford either of the paperbacks by Cornell Woolrich, but I said hello to them both—and headed into New York for an abbreviated day in the city. I can recommend the chocolate chipotle mezcal shake at Salvation Burger, where I willingly and happily ate pickles on a double cheeseburger for the first time in my life. The Strand must like me: I left with only one book this time, but it was the Pyramid first edition of Harlan Ellison's juvie-pulp first novel Rumble (1958), signed by the author. (I thought about taking home its recent reprint, also shelved with the mysteries—under its original title Web of the City—just for the authorized text and the additional short stories, but the original find felt lucky enough. I read it between Grand Central and Union Stations and chased it with Prison Noir (2014) edited by Joyce Carol Oates, which I had picked up at Barbara's Bestsellers on the trip out.) I had to leave the hardcover of Michael Redgrave's In My Mind's I: An Actor's Autobiography (1983) because of water damage, but now that I know it exists I can look for it here. We had no trouble with the Metro-North to New Haven. Amtrak appears to have hauled ass in the direction of Boston to make up for its slight tardiness reaching us. We're much farther along than I expected to be when I finished this post, by which I mean we're leaving Route 128 and I should start packing up.

This was good travel.
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