The Places I've Gone

"Why Vermont?" Erica asked. I was again hinting to JP that we could settle there. And I concluded that it's a place that I only have good memories of. We used to go to ski once a year as kids, and when I was older, we trekked through the state to visit Sue, and we always had a time. The only drawback, as I see it, is the lack of good Italian food, a memory from those ski trips with parents and a flock of Staten Islanders.

(Sidenote: Here in Colorado, on the road to Keystone, there is a small shop called Jersey Boys Pizza and Deli. It is a godsend. There are Yankees and Giants pennants and a map of New Jersey decorating the walls, mixed in with a poster of The Sopranos. The back wall in the dining area is plastered with an eighties-ish photo of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline at night.)

(Sidenote 2: Not for nothing, but it's true that Vermont is one of the few places I actually could get married.)

If you've only visited a place, you don't have insight into what it's like to live there, but it's the reason I also look favorably on Rhode Island. Yelena (before she was Elena, after she was Helen) and Jon were married there, and the wedding was beautiful, and the weather was beautiful, and the drive there was beautiful, and we were on the peninsula of Bristol surrounded by water. AND there was a drive-through homemade doughnut shop. I could live there.

Hari thought retiring to Florida was a fate worse than death. But Florida was amazing in how unlike home it was: the beach, the shuffleboard, the adult tricycles, the lizards, the flea market with roaming peacocks, the homemade breakfast sandwiches, the pull-out love seat, and half the time we were there it was my birthday. To me, Florida makes perfect sense.

I think Chicago is one of the most beautiful American cities. But the majority of times I've traveled there has been to work, and the flight home was always delayed, and I hated it so much that I would call Erin and she would hate it, too, on my behalf. (I think a lot of people hate New York because of their experience at La Guardia, but my apartment was a fifteen-minute cab ride away.)

The question forming in my mind this week: what can you write about a place if you didn't have your heart broken there?

New Orleans has rocked every time. I asked Becky why she is always going to Miami. She said it's her "happy place." Maybe New Orleans is mine. I think Jenn's is San Francisco.

San Francisco is great. Damn you, California, for trying to make me like you. Rohini and I ate dinner together once, and I confessed to her my grudge against California. I loved someone once, and he left for California. I loved someone twice, and he left for California. And, yes, I realize that now we live together, that he has returned in a sense, but these things aren't rational. How can I compete with this state? I know he would love to move west, and to me that borders on unimaginable.

We were driving in New Jersey. Either: Bob, Erin, Corinne, and me, for Dre's birthday at Medieval Times, or: Bob, Erin, Tommy, and me, to visit Dani down the Shore. Bob played that song, "To the East," and then he quoted it. "It could be home, Brian."

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