Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Stars of the HighLine

Saturday:  My first day in Philadelphia.

I took a trip to New York.

Carl was busy getting the gallery space ready with the rest of the program participants and I needed to see my cousins while I was close to their neck of the woods.  So after 2 full days of driving, I hopped on the Megabus and headed to New York to visit my cousins Anna and Sara.

Unfortunately, traffic made the trip 3 hrs instead of 2.  
But I was rewarded for my patience when I stepped off the bus to see a real-life model being photographed!
Anna met me at the bus and we navigated around the city to meet Sara.  The original restaurant at which we were going to eat made Sara feel weird so we opted for a different atmosphere.

If you think you are seeing an Airstream in that window, you are correct.

The bar and kitchen were located in the side of a cut-away airstream trailer.  Awesome.
Also, apparently the uniform for the men at this cafe was jeans and a plaid button-down.  We were in Chelsea, after all.

Sara and her pancake, egg, bacon, and white toast.

Anna and her veggie burger and sweet potato fries.

Sara, Me, and my french toast with Raspberry Rhubarb sauce and Lemon butter and maple syrup.

Now for a story:

Once upon a time, the High Line was a freight train track that ran above the streets of Manhattan's West Side.  Over the years it was abandoned and fell in to disrepair.  Community residents took the High Line's fate into their own hands and funded a project to preserve the mile-long strip.  Since 1999, the rail has undergone an amazing transformation from demolition project to a beautiful community centerpiece.  Pretty much the High Line is a really neat park.

This is a Sister's Blog after all.

An example of how the original rail is preserved amongst the foliage.

Sara, Me and the City
The greatest part of the High Line would probably be the people watching.  Of course, that is one of the best parts of visiting New York in general.  Anyway, it seemed that many people used the High Line kind of like their own back yard.  Not really a big surprise when there are apartments literally built OVER the line and along the sides.   The line has reclining benches along many sides to you can relax in the sunshine.  So we saw folks with their kids or friends just playing, chatting, even doing homework.  And then we saw this lady:

No, she is not naked.  She does have a skimpy bikini on.  Yes, that does appear to be a brown paper bag on her head.   
It was hard not to stare.  
But we are models.  
So I took a secret sneaky shot instead.

Sometimes, walking the line was like walking in the jungle.

We found a little amphitheatre of sorts to sit and chat on.  While we were there, people kept snapping pictures of the stairs we sat upon.  Naturally, we photo-bombed all their photos and even videos. As Anna put it, "We are the stars of the High Line."

We looked up and suddenly saw sky-writing planes!  This is the most I got from the message:
"The Black Keys"
Great band, but the rest of the message was indecipherable.  Bummer.

You can count on us to
Walk the Line like Models.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Life is a Highway

Thursday began the Independent Adventures of Kathleen on her trip to Philadelphia.

9:15 am-- Bright blue skies, wispy white clouds, and the happiest daisy you'll ever see on my dashboard.

12:30-- Stop in STL for lunch

Best welcoming party ever!

It was great having lunch with my mom is St. Louis, but I couldn't stay for long.  She loaded me up with Capri-Suns and I went on my way again.

My odometer reading in St. Louis.
Bye-bye familiarity!

I left St. Louis and took off through Illinois.  There wasn't much there to plot the journey:  mostly flat corn fields and the occasional sign for Lincoln's cabin.

Oh, and the Giant Cross

I stopped for a restroom break at a Burger King that had the loveliest of cornfields out back.
Perfect opportunity for a quick photo shoot!

During my drive, I occupied myself by listening to NOVA Science Now podcasts.  They are short tid-bits of fun science facts that leave you wanting to know more about the subject they touched on.  Each mini-episode interviews a different scientist about the work they do:  astrophysicists like Neil DeGrass Tyson or just-out-of-grad-school marine biologists studying a certain species of shrimp.  At the end of each episode, the host shares a unique fact about the scientist.  "Not only does Dr. Someone study porpoise snot, but she is also a flamenco dancer!"  
Apparently, scientists have a Secret Life.

 Welcome to Indiana, home of the hoosiers!  Which, incidently, if you are a St. Louisan, you should know that everywhere outside of STL a "hoosier" simply means someone from Indiana.  Go figure.

Transporting your buggy.

Driving along, minding my own business, making good time when BAM.  Traffic.

Indianapolis:  Home of  the Indy 500
Once in Indianapolis, I met my good friend Sarah at her apartment.  Not five minutes later as we drove to dinner the sky turned BLACK and the heavens poured rain down on us.

We ate at an authentic Irish Pub.  There was a large group wearing name tags using half the restaurant.  We soon learned that they are a part of a growing movement in Indianapolis that call themselves Catholics on Tap.  Basically they hold "young adult" church in Irish pubs all across the city.  Their goal is to reach 18-35 year olds who otherwise wouldn't go to church.  They held their prayers and meetings over a microphone during our meal.  Afterwards, they sang Karaoke.

Such a great friend!
7:45 am-- I'm off again towards Philadelphia, this time with no scheduled stops.  
Just me and the highway.

I was sorely tempted to get a psychic reading on the way.
This time, I was armed with an 11 hour book on tape:  Rick Riordan's Kane Chronicles Book 3:  The Serpent's Shadow.  Nothing like a kids fantasy novel to carry you through a long drive!

Welcome to Ohio!

Friday was wet and misty and foggy and rainy.  But it didn't stop me from appreciating the scenery.

I needed to make a pit stop for gas, food, and restroom break.  While looking for a good exit, I saw a sign:

Jamboree in the Hills?  I'M IN!

Unfortunately, I couldn't find the jamboree and it was raining again so I made do with exploring the gas station. 
You are wondering what that desk in the corner is all about.
If you guessed Home Video Recording and Editing, you were right!

This is also the local ice creamery.

Additionally, there is a corner thrift shop.

Again, on the road, enjoying the scenery.  No drought here!

After hours of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, I drove through West Virginia for a refreshing 12 minutes.

Half of which was spent in this tunnel.

The destination we have all been waiting for!

Quaint, ain't it?

3:30 pm:  Gaslight came on.  Uh-oh.  Rest stop 2 miles?  Thank goodness.
You thought the last rest stop was big.

I couldn't get over the size of this place!  It was like a mall food court!  Out in the middle of nowhere!

It was wet and misty all day.  But I am a Model.
So I made it work.

Those little white dots in the grass?  Those are lambs.  No sheep in sight.  Just a field full of babies.  I guess the photo doesn't do it justice, but my heart fluttered for the next 10 miles over that field of lambs.  I mean, just picture them all frolicking around being so fluffy and gangly!

Pennsylvania is in the northern Appalachian mountains.  What a sight they were to behold!

It was especially neat going under mountains that were contained in fog.  This mountain was named Kittlekins or something.  Just as I exited Kittlekins, I found there was a second mountian directly behind it named Blue.

First sign for Philadelphia!
The City
More of the City.
A part of the city I should not have seen if I were following the directions correctly.

 8:30 pm-- Looks like I'm going to like it here.

You can count on us to
Road-trip like Models.