Well, since I’m being harangued by my listeners, here is my overdue first post on my travels around the states.
I was able to sell a lot of it, and then donated what they would take and threw the rest away. All my remaining possessions (including my motorcycle) was stored in a 10’x10′ storage unit. It was both sad and liberating.
I hung out around town for a day, and then Darren and I drove up to Niagara Falls. Funny thing about Niagara. The American side is totally run down, dirty and dying, whereas the Canadian side is built up, clean and lively. We stayed on the American side for 10 minutes before jumping back in the truck and driving across the border. We walked around town, did the “behind the falls” tour, bought some Cuban cigars (because you can) and drove up towards Toronto.
We got to Toronto in the evening, and realized that we weren’t going to find a place in downtown due to some convention in town. Although while heading towards the Holiday Inn just South of Chinatown we drove past this little nook in the wall Japanese restaurant called Asakusa. Well since I will be living in the town of Asakusa in Tokyo we just had to stop. It was a good call as the portions were large, the fish was excellent and the prices were reasonable. The exchange rate was like .9915 US dollars to the Canadian dollar. Sucks for Canadian’s who want to buy books, and sucks for American’s looking to buy anything in Canada for the normal good values. I love Canada though, it’s clean and the people are friendly. We finally just drove out towards the airport and found a room at the Quality Suites for like $135. That night I sent an email to Julie-sensei, since we had made it to Toronto. Unfortunately she didn’t get it until after we had left.
We got up the next day, and went over to J-Town to do some shopping. We got bento boxes, and bought a lot of bread at Nakamura bakery. We got a couple An-pan, a couple Curry-pan, a Choco-pan and a Melon-pan. That was lunch. After J-Town we went to Casa Loma, Canada’s only castle (apparently). It was built in the early 1900’s by this Canadian financier who wanted a castle. It was complete with underground tunnels to the stables and greenhouses as well as secret passages. It was very cool.
After that we went to the ROM, the Royal Ontario Museum. It was a pretty cool museum with a very nice Darwin exhibit that I couldn’t take any pictures in.
After the ROM we headed back to the states, and then before I flew out in the morning we drove through downtown Rochester so I could take pictures of a couple buildings that looked similar to Isengard.
Then I flew out to Newark, NJ and was picked up by my friend Tiff and her daughter Chloe. They took me back to Freehold, NJ, where they’ve got a beautiful house. We wandered around Freehold and then hung out until John got off work.
The next day Tiff, Chloe and I drove out to the coast and walked along the beach at Sandy Hook. It was apparently time for the horseshoe crabs to come in from the ocean and abandon shell, because they were everywhere.
On Saturday we went into “The city” as the locals refer to it. New York, New York! We drove and took the Staten Island Ferry so I could take some pictures of the statue on the way to Manhatten. It was like 95F and very high humidity, and I did just fine. Not at all like 95F in Colorado, where I would just cease to function. It was hot and I was sweaty, but I remained functional the whole day. Our friend Devon met up with us as we toured around the city. We went to the raging bull, Times square, the Nintendo store, Rockefeller Plaza, the Apple store, Central Park and then Kinokuniya. It was Gothic and Lolita maid costume day at Kinokuniya, but I didn’t make it down there until like 4pm so unfortunately I missed Michael Pinto from fanboy.com/anime.com who was also there apparently. Now I know what you’re saying. “Didn’t you just sell all your books? Why would go to a bookstore?”. Not to mention the fact that I went specifically to a Japanese bookstore when in less than a month all my bookstores will be Japanese. Anyways, I bought the first Harry Potter book… in Japanese. After that we found this great Cuban restaurant called Havana, NY on 38th between 5th and 6th I think. Then it was home time.
Today we’re off to Philadelphia, PA for a day of touring the historic district. Marajsky should be meeting up with us, so that will be cool. I’ll do more posts soon. Hope everyone else is doing well and Batou and I should be doing a joint show this week via Skype once I get out to Lake Tahoe, CA.
Full album below.