Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


When I was driving back to my hotel, this evening, I couldn't help but look across the Hudson River at Manhattan and be struck by how unreal it seemed. Seriously, it could have been a poster that was Photoshopped to make it seem even more perfect than it was in reality, or a shot from a movie that was tricked up in post. Because what I saw were thousands of black blocks aiming straight for the sky, each one dotted with shimmering stars and only barely anchored to the ground by glowing embers of white and blue while casting gentle reflections in the water at its feet. It was breathtaking and I almost forgot how impossible this city is to live in.

Seriously, you can't even go grocery shopping without all kinds of trouble. The storage facility I'm working in is in the middle of a HUGE residential area of high-rise apartments and old residential buildings and single homes...and you think I can find a drug store or grocery store in the immediate area? No. There's a convenience story type deli at JFK East and 60th where they are as slow as molasses in January when it comes to waiting on you. And where they have next to nothing in the way of quick food or fresh veggies. I saw a restaurant or two, and there's a place called The Lighthouse (I think) right by the facility that looks like it costs $20 just to look at the menu, but other than that this area is barren.

Hell, all of Jersey's barren from what I can tell. The only grocery store I could find is a Super Walmart in Harmon Meadows, en route to the facility...and then only because I was directed to it. And they do not have a major selection. I couldn't even find 2.5 gallon containers of water and the only gallon jugs they had were specially enhanced for babies.

So today I had Nacho Doritos for lunch and just now finished a bowl of Chef Boyardee mini ravioli. And now I'm taking a long hot shower before I make a cup of tea and pack my things. I'm headed home tomorrow night and I want to make a pilgrimage to Wegman's ASAP to remind myself of what civilization is like.

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