Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Iron Road to the Capital of Latin America

Tomorrow I leave Savannah for Miami, the end of the line on Amtrak. A journey from a world constrained by history to a place that is still inventing itself.

For tourists, Charleston and Savannah are about colonial times and early independence through the end of the civil war. A white history with selective amnesia.

Miami tilts to the future: it feels young (apart from all the snowbirds like me) and optimistic. As late as 1890 it was a tiny settlement of about 300 people. Today's Miami-Dade County has over 2.6 million.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Other

 Woolworth's lunch counter (Smithsonian)

I tried to build a coherent picture of my seatmate as I rode Amtrak from Cleveland to New York.

The obvious stuff: 40-ish, black, heavyset, financially on the edge. I got the financial bit as he talked on the phone about his imminent move to a smaller apartment.

He clicked away at his laptop, editing, re-editing video segments of silently dancing young women, fishnet leotards, backsides wiggling at the camera.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Iron Road to Dixie

This week I ride the rails south from New York City towards an America that is, in some ways, a foreign country to me.

Each night I'll sleep in a hotel, pausing in Washington, DC, and Charleston, SC.

In Savannah, GA, a friend will join me for a couple days. This will be the first time I get to see her since she moved from the Twin Cities to Atlanta a few months ago. Good chats are in my future.

Distance Miles
Duration HH:MM
New York, NY
Washington, DC
Washington, DC
Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC
Savannah, GA

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Breakfast Rooms

A family sits around a breakfast table in a Cleveland Holiday Inn Express talking about family things. The teenager shrugs as Mom announces she's going to redecorate his bedroom. The conversation pauses for a basketball segment on the local Fox affiliate.

A rack of USA Todays announces the next war.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Iron Road to Gotham

This week I head slowly to New York City by Amtrak. In Life, Phase 3, you don't have to rush or be perturbed by inevitable delays.

Each night I'll be in a hotel rather than a train, which gives me a chance to go walkabout in Chicago and Cleveland.