July 7, 2012
"New York makes it easy to forget that many Americans would probably find paying $950 for a 10-by-10 room overlooking garbage cans either unaffordable or unappealing, or both."

Paolo,

You’re my inspiration for fleeing New York, so I have to recommend this Gawker article — I Used to Love Her, But I Had to Flee Her: On Leaving New York

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June 18, 2012
"Drunk Cajun A: Man, look at those calves!
Drunk Cajun B: Those aren’t calves, no. Those are full grown cows!"

K,

You asked me to blog about my new pedicabbing job. Well, in my first three days, I haven’t been able to focus on the finer, more bloggable aspects of the job. It’s truly been an adrenaline-fueled blur of passing traffic, scattered thunderstorms, almost sunburns, sore legs, dehydration, and drunk people. Besides the mental complexities of learning one-way streets, locating downtown hotels, and calculating fares, I’ve also dealt with a flurry of physical obstacles like the ones listed above.

I’ve met a lot of really nice people - both passengers and other bikers. One of the coolest, most genuine people I’ve met is Mark, a 46-year old pedicabber who writes a really excellent blog detailing the ins, outs, and idiosyncrasies of this crazy occupation.

Once I settle into a pedicabbing rhythm, I will write at a greater length about the job. Until then, I suggest you follow Mark’s writings to get a sense of the experience. It’s worth going back through old posts and seeing what he wrote about different events, like the Final Four and Mardi Gras. It really gives you a good sense of what the job, and, more essentially, what the city is all about.

April 2, 2012
K,
Check out Marfa, Texas. I’m not so much telling you to listen to that linked NPR article, or to read its Wikipedia page, but rather I’m telling you to just go there and check it out for me.
[[MORE]]The first time I heard about this city was looking up tour dates for Twin Sister. I saw that they were playing a free show in Marfa, a town in West Texas of about 2,000, with Explosions in the Sky. I was in New York at the time, but daydreamed of a way to be there. If you know any incarnation of Friday Night Lights, you know Odessa, Texas. Odessa’s annual rivalry game with Permian High School was scheduled to be within a week of the free show. One year, I will be there to see that game. I would have killed to be at that game, or at that show. But this daydream was brief, and its specifics unattainable, and I no longer thought about Marfa.
A few weeks ago, (a few days before this blog began) my friends and I were drinking on a porch in Baton Rouge. My friend Margee started telling us about her dream to spend adulthood in Marfa, Texas. She explained how the artist Donald Judd had journeyed through the Southwest, and loved Marfa enough to end his journey there. He transformed the small desert city into an artistic oasis within a few years. Now, apparently, its population of 2,000 doubles on certain weekends. I’m pretty sure they all come from Austin.
I vividly remember two images from that night’s storytelling - that of Prada Marfa (pictured above). And that of the Marfa Lights - an unknown nocturnal light phenomenon that is somehow native to Marfa. (The picture below is from nightorbs.net!?)

To bring it all back home, The Marfa Lights is a song by Mark McGuire that I mentioned in my very first blog entry. As we all sat talking on the porch about the Marfa Lights, my friend Corey realized that his favorite song at the moment referred to this phenomenon.  He got us all to squeeze into his car, and he turned up The Marfa Lights by Mark McGuire on full blast. After that, everyone left but us. And then he played me Skyramps.

K,

Check out Marfa, Texas. I’m not so much telling you to listen to that linked NPR article, or to read its Wikipedia page, but rather I’m telling you to just go there and check it out for me.

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