east coast/ west coast

I have had the great fortune to call quite a few places in America ‘home.’ Each area has it’s own flavor, character and personality.

Charlotte, North Carolina is one of the cleanest cities I have ever been. Laid back, easy going but with a bright nightlife that will go as fast as NASCAR. Spending time around some of the NASCAR teams, like Robbie Gordon and Petty Enterprises is nowhere near the ‘good ole boy’ scene people expect. Those organizations give NASA a run for their money.

Long Boat Key, Florida offers the best fishing, and healthiest restaurants I have ever been. The Sun Coast Off Shore powerboat races over the 4th of July weekend is adrenaline x 10,000. Traveling over 170 kph (over 100 mph) on the water is one of the most thrilling things I have ever done. On the same note, getting to witness the birth of a nest of sea turtles while working with Mote Marine Laboratory, watching as they climbed out of their burried egg nest and scramble down to the warm gulf water thrilled me in a different way.

Madison, Connecticut embodies the rich history of New Enalgnd. I lived in a stone house that was built in the 1800’s by a member of the Madison family. Timeless community events like the Spring Lobster Bake, the Halloween Pumpkin patch rides and hay bail maze brought a very close knit community together. Kayaking the over 300 Thimble Islands and marking them by GPS consumed endless adventures.

Corolla, North Carolina is one of the only sea side comunities that I am aware of that has herds of wild horses roaming the dunes. In late October, the tourist are all gone and most of the businesses are preparing to shut down for the winter, but not yet. The Realtors will rent a huge 3 story house for next to nothing just for the business. Driving my Land Rover down on the beach and fishing for dinner is as relaxing as it gets. The speed limit signs that dot the beach have always made me laugh.

New York. The City. If you say New York and someone asks: “The city or the state?” No. If they ask, they get put down a notch on my worthiness scale. If I want to talk about another city, I will say that city’s name. New York is The City. If I say The City, I am talking about New York because every other city is not The City it is a city. Are you takin notes? Alright. The City is everything you have ever heard. It is every rumor, every story, every movie, quip, anicdote, and soliliqui that you have ever imagined and much much more. My sister had a little too much wine and bumped into Larry King in the hotel bar over by CNN. He was uncharacteristically wearing blue jeans. She told him he “was lookin pretty good in them jeans” to which he laughed. The best steak house is Peter Luger’s at 178 Broadway. Masa on the Upper West side was interesting and New York would not be New York without Katz’s Deli. The trick to Katz’s is to only get one sandwich and then you can feed four people with it. The City brings interesting things to your focus, like space. The City doesn’t get any bigger, but more and more people live there. You can’t buy more land and expand out, so you build up. A parking space was as much as rent. New York does not sleep and it hardens you to a certain extent. You have to harden yourself because you will see things that in any other part of the country would be viewed as horrid and atrocious. Growing up in rural North Carolina I clearly remember the first time I ever saw someone with a sign that said “will work for food.” It made an impact and ripped at my soul. In New York you step over people who have peed themselves and are laying on the sidewalk, barefoot in the winter. If you help one, a group will mob you. Fuckin bum can get a job and work just like me. The City hardens you. But I love it.

San Francisco has been a new place. The cadence is off out here. Television is set at a different pace. We get news later. Really. The national news is on before the local news. On the East Coast, it is the other way around. Football games start much earlier. Monday night football starts at like 6:00. Happy people run over you to get their health food.

I love the weather here. Today is March 2, and it is going to be over 60f. I have a little 3000ft mountain range and the Pacific Ocean right here. San Fran is great: Jazz clubs are my new obsession. Can’t wait to get my axe back out. (That is sax-axe-ophone.)

The Tour of California will be right here in a month. Lance, Levi and the world of cycling are coming to see me. Chris Lieto, the Ironman lives about 30min from me. I talked to him about a van he was selling about a month ago. (Bitchin van. Sorry I couldn’t get it.)

This is a big beautiful country with so many diverse places and people. I feel grateful that I have been able to expirence so much of it. Maybe I will write a book… Hmmm…


4 Responses to “east coast/ west coast”

  1. So… what brought you to each place?

  2. you’ve missed out on the great middling states…do consider us next time you move 🙂

  3. I did live in Texas and Illinois too. Forgot about those. That was during the Air Force. Didn’t see much more than Lackland or Chanute. Of course Chanute is long gone now.

  4. What brought me to each place will take a little longer than i have time to write about at the moment, but I will.
    It’s been a long strange trip and doesn’t seem to be letting up.

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