Friday, July 06, 2007

Pre-trip Prep.

It's easy to forget over the span of an entire year just how much preparation travel requires. Of course it always seems so fraught with freedom when I'm in the daydreaming stage. But as the departure date looms, all kinds of concerns begin to creep into my consciousness. It occurs to me that I really have no idea how to get to my destination. Air travel has been off the table for me since before 9-11. The Greyhound ceased to be an option when I stopped being dirt poor. I love taking trains, but that really limits what you can see once you get to where you are going. So driving wins by default. For me that mostly means I will do ALL the driving. M. doesn't do highways, and many of my other road dawgs lack a license altogether. This requires that I am all prepared and ready to jump as soon as I wake up in the morning. There are few things that bother me more than waiting around before a long drive.

For this particular trip to Queens, I had to rely on computer generated directions. Naturally Mapquest wants to take me on a route that includes stretches I would like to avoid. My preferred entry point into the megalopolis is in the north of Manhattan, by the Bronx. So I had to combine two separate legs to avoid the Holland Tunnel passage that the A.I would like to inflict on me. I'm not taking the PA Turnpike this time around. It's route 80 all the way across the state for me. That ought to be an interesting novelty, since I've never driven that way before.

So I'm running back and forth all day today, seeing to all the minor tasks that are necessary for the journey. And I'm doing it on half my normal energy, so I can quickly adjust my sleep schedule and go to bed at a reasonable time tonight. The first stop is obvious- four shots of espresso at the local coffee chain. Then the bank, with its Friday afternoon lines. I've already had the oil changed, so I've saved time there. But my car hasn't really been cleaned since the last time I took a long trip... and the pick-up requires some scrambling around in and around all the seats. Of course, I had to deal with everyday chores too. The litter needed badly to be changed. There were hot cards at Filmmakers for my upcoming solo that I wanted to distribute at tonight's Unblurred. I got those with only minimal trouble. And then it was back home to pack up.

Jeez... what do I take? Photography is the main reason I am going to NYC, so all that equipment is a given. Do I have enough space on my compact flash cards? No... gotta review images and clear room. Got the cable feed cord to review shots when I get there. Extra lens. Back-up camera. Are my batteries charged up? Oh yeah, don't forget to grab both battery pack chargers. And that reminds me about my cell phone recharge cord. Books to read? Yup. Where's my journal? CDs for entertainment on the drive? OK. What else? Shit, I'm all outta Tagamet. Back in the car for a quick trip to Rite Aid. Toothbrush. Razor. Hairbrush. Soap. Shampoo. Oh yeah... I neeed to take some clothes! Where the hell is that travel bag? Don't forget the boots. I know I'm missing something.... arrgghhh! What do you ultimately need? Gas in the tank. A credit card. The clothes on your back. Cellphone. Make sure the insurance card and registration are updated and in the glove compartment. Take all the extraneous crap out of my wallet, in case I lose it. Stop at the store and stock up on cigarettes.

OK... settle down. Take a shower. Try to find some remnants of convenient food to eat. Write a lame-assed blog post. Oh yeah... that's what I'm doing. So why am I going on this trip? What's the big picture? I'm going to watch the Dance of the Giglio at Our Lady of St. Carmel in Williamsburg. That's the centerpiece. Beyond that I'm open. I've been researching options for days. Maybe I'll get down to Red Hook for a look-see. I'm definitely planning on exploring Long Island City- 5 Pointz, the galleries, etc. Perhaps I'll spend an afternoon seeing the Chelsea Galleries. And I'll go down to the Lower East Side to look at a possible exhibition site for the Blogger's Show with JM. I've even thought of making a pop-in at Kirtanananda's new center while I'm at it. But no matter what I end up doing, I plan to make an effort to update this blog regularly- so tune in here for the details.

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