My covered wagon Corolla from west to east

Lyon Keating:

Sorry for taking so long to get back to you.  I’ve been on the road for about the last month making my last CA rounds.  It will be so sad to leave to a place of utter humidity.  I’m extremely excited for the adventure but it’s like I can’t wait to get back at the same time because there are so many places I love about CA.  Oh well, I can always come back and in the meantime I’ll sweat bullets.  How do people deal?

I’m leaving on July 30th with friends to drive across country.  I’m packing up my little toyota corolla and will bring whatever I can bring.  The adventure of doing this and having friends around will come to an end on the 10th and then I’ll have two weeks to find a place to live and do about a million other things.  It’s a little overwhelming but I’ve done this sort of thing before and it will all come together.  One thing at a time.  I just really want a place before school starts.  I’ll find something good, though.  It will also be nice to be by the girlfriend on the east coast as she is in Jersey and about an hour from Philly.  We’ve really hit it off over the last 6 months and she is really a great woman!  I’m excited to start an era with her in my life and sort of leave what I’ve been doing in SF for the past six years or so.  I can always go back.  Time to simply just do other things and whatever those things are will be freaking super fantastic because I’ll be doing them.  Not a bad outlook, eh?

 

Yoda:

I don’t think you understand the extent how debilitating the heat and humidity can be.

Walking half a block is exhausting . . . literally!  You are DRENCHED with sweat, you get dizzy, your muscles feel like lead, and you HAVE to sit down.  Too bad you can’t be there right now!!!!!  Most of the time, though, it’s just unpleasant and shitty, but bearable

Believe it or not, you get used to it.  It will always suck, but it just becomes part of the backdrop of life.  There are only a few TOTALLY unbearable stretches, but we have that with our 105 degree heat waves in CA too.

And you will REALLY appreciate California when you get back.  And it’s not just the weather and the scenery . . . or even the people.  It is just the . . . okay, “vibe” is a totally lame expression, but that really describes it.  The East Coast is just different.  Some of it is cool, but . . .   Like, the sense of “settledness” is cool, but that “settledness” also creates a resistance to change and to acceptance of others.  Just an example.  But it’s not horrible or anything.  And since you weren’t raised in it, you might even find it pretty interesting.

It’s funny . . . I just went to a wedding last weekend.  The bride and groom were about your age, and both of them had extensive families in the Midwest.  The difference between the Midwest folks and the Californians was SO apparent!!!!!  They were nice people, but DEFINITELY different!!!!!  The East Coast is also that way . . . nice enough people, but different.  More settled, less willing to go outside of their little boxes.

 

Lyon Keating:

Yes, I have made it to the humid, sticky east coast and boy is it….well actually it hasn’t been humid and sticky at all.  I haven’t even noticed it and the weather basically along the way from SF to Philly has been basically well California-esk! (minus a 120 degree feel in Des Moines!!!!).  But really, I don’t know if it just hasn’t been that hot or that I’m excited and don’t care what the weather has been but I think I’ll be able to handle it better than I think in time to come.  I say this now but I suppose we’ll see.

It’s been funny seeing and interacting with the different types of people here on the east coast.  I made the mistake of asking a New Yorking on the street where the twin towers were (really in my mind I meant to say World Trade Center) and he shot a sarcastic remark back.  Haha I was sort of dumb on that one but after spending some time here and thinking about it more now that I’m actually living on the east coast, I can’t help but feel that if an area were ever to become a police state it would be the NY area.  I’ve never seen so many cops, rules, regulations, people being scared of one another, etc. than I seem to see here.  Philly seems a little bit of the same but much less and I like that this is where I’m going to live.  Regarding this police state mentality, I hear people say all the time that it has to be like this or else it would be a violent place with way too many people.  This may be so but I have a reaction to feel that this is just something easy for people to say to justify the way the situation or environment is…”Oh well, it has to be this way.”  I don’t buy it….I suppose in time I’ll learn more but in the meantime I get the whole “vibe” thing more than I have before.  It reminds me of a politically correct corporate vibe.  NY is a crazy environment that has more collared shirts than I care to be around and more expectations about how you’re suppose to act than I’d care to be around as well.  There is a much harsher survival instinct going on that leads people to look through each other, and also millions of more people around as well that make this hard too.    I’m sort of glad I’m not living there, not to mention it costs a billion dollars to go about your daily life as well.  Philly has a lot more relaxed, super nice people.  People that will actually talk to you and give you that west coast vibe more than NY.  However, I really haven’t been here for that long and these are just first impressions as well as I embark on living in a new place.  I can’t help but feel that the east coast just needs to take one big bong rip to balance itself out but I suppose this is my west coast elitism/snobbery coming out as well:):):)

 

Yoda:

Hey, the weather is just weather.  There are short spells that are pretty horrible, but nothing that you cannot survive through.

As far as New York goes . . . yes, there are definitely a lot of police and rules to contain all those millions of people living in such close proximity.  And there is a degree of aggression in New York that isn’t found in many other places. Most of that aggression isn’t really dangerous; but there is so much of it that it always verges on the edge of escalating.  On the other hand, there is a dynamism stemming from that aggression that also isn’t found in many other places.  And there is ALWAYS something happening.  And the art and theatre scene is incredible.  And . . .         Philadelphia doesn’t have that same level of aggression, but it also doesn’t have the same level of dynamism and art and . . .New York is just an exciting place to BE; just standing on the street doing NOTHING is exciting. Philadelphia is . . . well . . . Philadelphia.  And as you learn the nuances of the East Coast “vibe”, you will find that Philadelphia is WORSE . . . more hide-bound, more straight-laced, more social expectations, more historical baggage (not the cool stuff, just the grudges and the prejudices and all).

 

Lyon Keating:

Yeah people watching has been a fun thing to do while in NY and Philly.  Thus far I have encountered two different things about people in Philly.  They have no problem being nice and striking up conversation with you on the street regardless if you are a stranger or whatever and that is very rare and nice and gives Philly a sort of small town feel to it.  Also, they have no problem yelling whatever they want at each other whether they’re calling you a cocksucker for parking somewhere or a dick (to Samantha) for blocking the street for one moment while moving (yeah and who calls a girl a dick anyway?).  It’s like they don’t mean it, it’s just they can’t help but talk to people whether it’s in a good or bad way.  And what’s weird is my friend from Philly back in SF is exactly like this (even included is the baggage Philadelphia racism which he doesn’t think is racism but definitely is).

I think that’s a good idea about not being tied down.  Sounds like you’re in a stride of your own with this whole portion of your life and just go for it and see what happens.  Go gain and venture and then some!

 

Yoda:

Pretty cogent observations.  Yeah, Philadelphians are like New Yorkers that way — yell and cuss, but don’t really mean much by it.  I picked up that habit when I lived in New York, and people were appalled by it when I moved back to Maryland.  And it obviously wouldn’t work in San Francisco.  So it’s not an entire East Coast thing.  But it’s one of the reasons that people think New Yorkers are so rude.  They’re not really RUDE, it’s just how they talk and express themselves.  In San Francisco, they would have shaken their heads at Samantha and complained to themselves, but not really have said anything.  And yes, the racism is so ingrained that they don’t even recognize it as racism!!!!

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