Category Archives: Travel

Explorations: Roosevelt Island

Have you ever looked at a map and found things that looked cool and wanted to go there?


Well, I have, and I’m going to explore these places, time permitting (read: DC only).

Our first installation will be Theodore Roosevelt Island. I had always kind of wondered what was on this magical land-locked island and Saturday was warm enough to explore / run.

Teddy Roosevelt, besides saving the day in Newsies, was also an early conservationist. So his society bought the land from George Mason, whose mansion had been spoiled by stagnant water, and renamed it, washing the original Native American name out of history [wikipedia doesn’t lie].

img_0237.jpgFortunately for us, we have boardwalks to run over (most of) the swampy guck. This part reminded me of Plum Island, MA.

Being that it was a boardwalk over water.


The only way this island could be cooler is if there were a tram to it, like New York City’s [Franklin D.] Roosevelt Island:


Next in this sure to be long-lived series: a squiggly road I found. If you have any suggestions of things that look fun (at least on a map), let me know in the comments and we’ll explore.

Oh, and you need directions to Roosevelt Island? But wait, you want them to be as tacky as possible? Don’t say I never did anything for you:



High times: NY times


OK, so maybe I’ve held an unfair grudge against this city due to its irrefutable connection to the Yankees. I mean, even in London I saw the damn Yankee hat everywhere. I don’t care if they thought they were being trendy and reppin’ NYC, they were actually supporting Alex Rodriguez.

And to be fair, at the same time, I’ve always respected Mets fans, despite Game 6 1986, for turning down an opportunity at pure evil for more respectable mediocrity. I mean, I actually know some people who are Yankees AND Pats fans.

But irregardless of this pointless ramble, New York City has always had me at the extremes. At times, I’ve loved driving through the parkways and being reminded of the ending of 25th Hour, the Spike Lee joint. At other times, I’ve been stuck for what felt like 25 hours on the Cross Bronx Expressway, aka what happens if you stay on 95 the whole time between Boston and College Park.

Sometimes I’m amazed by the size and breadth of this city, sometimes it “teases out your latent claustrophobia” [Pitfalls for Tourists]. Sometimes I want to know my way around this place and get the references that inevitably leak out to the rest of the world, other times I get home from the day’s commute and can’t wait to be in a smaller, quieter city like Boston or DC.

But despite my numerous previous trips here, including a 1-0 Sox loss to the Yankees in July and a painful little Chinatown bus trip in September, this week was one of those that made me wonder why I don’t already live here.

Maybe it was working in Greenwich Village. Or seeing how many Reading people ended up living in Brooklyn (can you get any further from Reading without crossing an ocean? I doubt it.) Or staying in my boss’ sweet pad right by…um…everything in Manhattan (Oh, and I got to play some Nintendo Wii). Or crashing some advertising parties and (briefly) meeting “six-foot blonde glamazon Sharin” of the Raveonettes (where are you with my indie rock trivia when I need it Jeff!?!). She’s twice as intimidating in person as she is on stage, without even trying to be.

I’ll stop here. Blame Slash for telling me to put up a post at this hour of the night. But it’s been a great, if exhausting, week. I learned a lot at work and frankly, got inspired. And it’s 2AM, but tomorrow’s Friday. The agenda is coffee, work really hard, train back / nap, and out in DC for Bia Bia’s Bday. I probably won’t need breakfast, because I helped the caterers polish off the leftover shrimp.

Let the adventures never end.

Vienna, installment 1

Matt’s 7-day forecast:
2pm Friday – Sunday = West Virginia
6:30am Monday – 9pm Friday = New York City

I should really spend my time packing tonight, not uploading pictures, but I can’t resist so here’s the first set:



P.S. How to ensure your band doesn’t make it big, #1834: Name your band ‘Fisticuffs‘.
Bonus points if you’re a British band and design a hardcore logo.


eternal jetlag

Jetlag doesn’t usually hit me this hard (my nocturnal habits usually compensate) but I’m still beat from traveling.  Which is interesting because I’m going to Snowshoe this weekend (with my date, pictured below) and quite possibly spending a good deal of the next two weeks in NYC for work.

I was gonna scale back my coffee intake (Vienna’s amazing coffeehouses certainly didn’t help) but now is clearly not the time.  Oh, and if you didn’t read the saga below, my cellphone is currently being air-mailed from Austria for more than it’s worth, so IM or email me if you need me.