Road Entry#19 (Open City Cafe - Washington, DC - 3:47pm - August 11, 2010)

Wink ;) Wink ;)

Next thing we're touching. Traveling around the body with the simplicity of sense in our minds, in our soul. I can dream forever. The peace and love in my soul is illuminating the dreamscape. Feel with your nose and smell with your hand. Because everybody knows. The flowers taste so good. Carnation sensation - near-sided with a prescription for happiness. Flow freely without borders.

Radical.

I got caught up listening to some interesting music in this cafe and decided to write whatever came to me. Fun and liberating experience to just write in the moment.

Let's - ?shall we? - begin

I last left off with the documentation of all of Massachusetts and going into New York City. So let's hop on the subway and take the A-Train back to the big apple for some more travel-life-hysteria and a new month of journal entries!

Sunday, August 1st, 2010
We slept in because we went to bed around 4:30am. Ryan got up a little earlier than me because he had a brunch to get to with his parents somewhere. I got up at high noon and started looking over my 27 page application I was picking up at Ryan's apartment in New York. The application is actually a conditional offer to work as a Cartographer for the federal government - using real-time data and information to make maps for policy makers, federal government departments, politicians, the president, etc. (no big deal - just an interesting job processing information).

Once Ryan got back from brunch, we decided to get some laundry done in his building and relax while the washer/dryer was running. For most of the afternoon, we just sat around talking, relaxing, and watching some television. Of course Ryan was thumbing away on some texts and informed me that we would be going out to dinner with his friend Kristen and her friend Theresa. More on this later, but they are both from California and living in NYC for the summer for NYU summer school. We finished up our laundry and then got ready to get some dinner at a place Ryan knew about called Ippudo. There are very few words to describe this Japanese culinary masterpiece. What I do know is that when we got there at 7pm, there was an hour and twenty minute wait for a table of four. In response to this suspenseful delay, we walked around the East Village a bit before getting dessert before dinner at Red Mango. We sat around and got to know each other better - well at least Theresa and I got to know each other better (Ryan and Kristen playing patty-cake across from us in the booth - HAH). We spent a good amount of time in that booth talking before heading back over to Ippudo restaurant. We waited a little bit more in the bar/lobby and order edemame before sitting down to our table. The restaurant was PACKED! I think the best part of the dinner came when I opened up the menu to find reasonable prices for each dish ($12-16). I ordered the spicy special ramen bowl of the day (a peanut sauce based ramen with pork) and Theresa order the classic Akamaru Modern. I think that every bite I took was followed with a moan, "yum", or "wow". It was truly remarkable.

We finished dinner, drinks, and dinner conversation around 10pm. I suggested that we walk around the village more and have a good night. Theresa was ready, but Ryan and Kristen had work/school-work to get to back at their apartments (wink wink ;) So Theresa and talked and walked for the next couple of hours about everything and anything. It was really interesting getting to know her and her life. She is 20 and going to college at Sonoma State University in California. She knows Kristen from high school and Kristen goes to school at Utah Valley State in Provo, UT. They decided to have an adventures summer away from home and in the big city. Their NYU summer program was 6 weeks long and I met Theresa and Kristen on their final week in NYC. Theresa actually had a presentation in her class Monday afternoon and a final exam Wednesday afternoon. We walked enough to tire us out in Washington Square park where we sat down and I got eaten alive by bugs as we chatted more. I said goodnight around 1am and took a cab back to Ryan's apartment.

Monday morning arrived for me at 11:45am with an abrupt wake up to the sound of Adrianna getting back from her first interview of the day. Adrianna is a 2010 Notre Dame grad and best friend of Tati, who is Ryan and Andres other roommate. Adrianna and Tati are both from the Miami, FL area and are looking for places to live together in NYC as well as jobs in the city. I threw on some clothes quickly because I was invited by Adrianna to have her lunch and my breakfast with some of her other friends from Notre Dame. We walked 15 minutes over to meet them on 7th Ave for an hour and a half lunch. There I met Kathryn and Katie for a refreshing salad lunch and stimulating conversation more so with Kathryn than Katie (just because Adrianna and Katie were talking together).

Kathryn is cute girl originally from Cincinnati that has moved to Boston for a job with an accounting firm (PwC? E&Y?). I told her about all my Boston stories and she invited me to call her whenever I am back in Boston - just because she doesn't know a lot of people there. I told her I have a good group of friends there now and would introduce her to any of them so that she felt comfortable in a new city. She has only been living there for a month or so and was taking a couple days to visit Katie in NYC. Katie is an celtic dancer and an accountant as well. She has an interesting life ahead of her as well - pursuing a professional dancing career or a professional accounting career. I told her to go for the dancing obviously - to take a risk and GO FOR IT!

We all finished lunch and left before Kathryn had to get off to her Bolt Bus back to Boston at 2:30pm. Adrianna and I walked back to the apartment where she got ready for her second interview of the day. I chose to take this time to research more for places to stay in Baltimore before heading down to Annapolis to stay with my mom's friends. I wanted to get a couple days in Baltimore because of the Orioles game on Wednesday or Thursday night and to get a feel for the city. I was applying for the Ravens job in Baltimore, and I figured I give the city a chance on my journey because of my research and it's a place I'd never been. I was also preparing myself for the new journey to travel south from the Northeast and get a feel for the mid-Atlantic lifestyle. I could have also added Philadelphia to list of cities and couch surfing locations, but I decided to bypass Philly for Baltimore, Annapolis, Washington DC, and Charlotte before flying out to Los Angeles August 16th.

I was contacting dozens of couch hosts in Baltimore Monday afternoon. I also took some time to prepare my next day in NYC - filling out my federal government application at a Tribeca coffee house with free WiFi. I was also using MapMyRun.com to figure out where I wanted to get my 6-7 miles or running done in New York. I didn't want to run the same path that I did last time, so I decided to run north towards the George Washington bridge from Ryan's apartment along the Hudson. It was a great run! I listened to the Marathon Training Academy podcast and also listened to the Moth story telling podcast. The Moth podcast is a great podcast to hear fictional and non-fiction stories from some great artists, writers, and people from around the United States.

I got back to Ryan's apartment to find him just done with a workout as well from his gym. We got dinner together from the local corner market. It was around 10:00pm when I had dinner and finished the night off with some Food Network - one of my favorite stations for some great recipes and ideas for food. I suggest if you want to relax with some TV - watch Discovery Channel, Food Network, or the Travel Channel - adventurous and educational programming.

The next day began with me getting to Pecan Cafe in Tribeca to start on my application. I got there off the subway around 10:30am. The application packet was as thick and white as a marshmallow. For a federal gov't job and security clearance, you have to fill out dozens and dozens of pages pertaining to the past 10 years of your life. That means EVERYTHING relevant to this job and the people you know in the past 10 years. So if you have had some sort of consistent communication with me in the past 10 years - you will be getting contacted by an investigator relating to my application. Thanks for understanding.

I then met Dani Oster at her office building before heading to lunch. Dani-O is an Oregon grad, a Eugene marathon runner, and a former soccer player for Ducks. She left for Manhattan a week or so before I left Eugene for the big apple as well. The surprising part of the afternoon was that while I was waiting for Dani outside her building, I saw Ryan, Andres, Andy, and another dude they worked with come out of the same building. Conicidence? I think not... I knew Dani was working in the banking and financial world in NYC, but I had no idea it was the same bank (Citi Bank). So it was funny to say hello to Ryan and the guys outside before Dani came out (they joked that I was following them around - HA - yeah right...)

I went to lunch with Dani and her co-workers (Amira and ???) - talked it up a bunch - and then went to a closer cafe called Peace & Love cafe, to work on the application some more. I got through 75% of the application by 5:30pm - when Ryan got off work. I sat there for a while and worked on the application - getting distracted occasionally by internet ramblings, sports updates, etc. Ryan and I then picked up some Italian food to go and took it back to his apartment. On the way back, I reached out to Theresa to see if she wanted to hang out again after dinner. She was free from studying her butt off and said she would love to take a study break around 10-11pm. So we ate back at Ryan's and then relaxed for an hour or so before I went to work out down in his gym. I got out of the gym after a great workout around 10pm and then got over to Greenwich Village to see Theresa around 11pm. We picked off where we left off by walking and talking all around into Union Square and back through the local neighborhood before picking up some delicious cookies at Insomnia Cookies. From there we walked to Washington Square park and snuck in to sit on the benches. The cops came and gave us a warning for being in the park during closing hours - knowing that neither of us would pay a frivolous New York ticket for trespassing because both of our ID's were from California and Oregon. From there, we sat around on NYU campus and talked. It was getting late and I saw her off the her place because she had the final exam the next morning. It took me a while to man up and kiss her before she went up to her room, but I usually like to take my time in the kitchen and let the meat marinate before diving in. I guess I'll see her when I see her because I was off to Baltimore Wednesday morning at 10am.

Baltimore and Annapolis next posting....

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