To the 5 Boroughs.

The Voyage of DH began its life during a road trip to New York City this weekend. Sitting in a hotel lobby in Manhattan, I was hunched over the screen of my iPhone, pecking out words, furiously correcting typos and autocorrect fails, and hilariously trying to upload photos, all from the browser of my phone. I sit here now composing this follow-up on the 21.5″ monitor of my computer, the screen size a veritable coast-to-coast canvas of empty pixels, the physical keyboard so much easier to type on…

Wait, didn’t our humble author not say the words “road trip?” So why is he waxing poetic about writing posts on his computer? Someone should remind him that this is a travelogue, and he should get to work.

Anyhoo! I had a great weekend, a 310-mile roundtrip drive that was sorely needed after several weekends of having to stay home because of work and family obligations. On Friday, as professional development for my job, I attended a conference in Paramus, a town in New Jersey approximately a half-hour west of Manhattan. Rather than fight rush hour traffic on Friday morning, I did the 90+ mile drive Thursday after work and stayed in a Hampton Inn (my hotel of choice when I’m on the road- not the fanciest hotel, but always clean and comfortable, with attentive staff and a reasonable rate).

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I awoke to a  snowy Friday morning. Winter weather does not phase me, especially since my car rolls on a set of Nokian WR G3 All-Weather tires. I will write another post in the future about these utterly terrific tires, but for now, let’s just establish that these tires turn snow, ice, and slush into a non-event. Future post: All Things Nokian.

After the conference was over, my plan was to drive to LaGuardia International Airport in Queens to pick up a friend, who was flying in to present at another conference in New York City on Saturday. However, her flight was significantly delayed, so I found myself with a few hours to kill. A movie theater nearby solved that conundrum: Deadpool had been recommended to me by several friends, and they were absolutely right- it was action-packed and funny, but also a witty deconstruction of the superhero movie. This is a travelogue, not a movie review, but two definite thumbs up. The movie over, I began the journey to LaGuardia.

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Let’s talk about Northeast driving for a bit. New York is congested. News at 11. Realize, however, that all those drivers converging on a single spot means that in order to get anywhere, you have to mix the aggression of a NASCAR driver and the cornering ability of an F1 driver, just to get from point A to point B. Fortunately, the 271-hp V6 of my Accord lets me keep up with almost any vehicle that doesn’t say “Ferrari” or “McLaren” on the tail, and the chassis’ handling lets me dart in and out of traffic. I’m usually a relaxed driver when I’m home or on the open road, but the trip to Queens on Friday saw me channel my inner-Senna. Once I picked my friend up at the airport, we darted and cut through traffic to Manhattan, where her conference would be held the next day.

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As I sat in the hotel lobby Saturday morning (above), waiting for my friend to finish her conference presentation, I half-heartedly kept flipping through the book I had brought with me. I then took out my phone and while catching up on the latest entries from a few road trippers whose blogs I follow, inspiration  hit me. I drive a lot. I see many new and interesting places. I should start my own travel blog. And so, after 45 minutes of typing on my phone, The Voyage of DH was born.

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After my friend’s presentation was over (which was a resounding success), we decided to spend some time exploring New York, and after a nice walk, ended up at the Museum of Modern Art. Located on W. 53rd Street in Manhattan, the MoMA was “founded in 1929 as an educational institution, The Museum of Modern Art is dedicated to being the foremost museum of modern art in the world.” While I do not claim to be an expert in Modern Art, the museum’s exhibits were fascinating. We spent most of our time at the exhibit for Marcel Broodthaers, and one of his installations is pictured, above.

Our minds satiated, we next turned our attention to dinner, where we decided to head to Trattoria Dell’Arte, a wonderful Italian restaurant on 7th Avenue. We had a wonderful time, enjoyed delicious food, a were waited on by a friendly staff.

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While we had a fun time, the weekend was drawing to a close. After a yummy brunch at the Red Flame Diner this morning (and I’d highly recommend the Belgian waffle), it was time to head back to LaGuardia. In a rare cosmic event of planetary alignment and all that, it took us exactly eighteen minutes to go from midtown Manhattan to LaGuardia- there was barely any traffic! After saying our goodbyes, my friend headed off for her plane and I jumped back on the road to go home.

Driving across Queens, Manhattan, and into Staten Island was remarkably quiet and calm. Traffic the opposite direction was gridlock as far as the eye could see, but like a scene from a disaster movie where the protagonist heads toward impending doom, I had almost no traffic ahead of me the entire way back to New Jersey. Happily there was no doom. And alas, also no need to use my wanna-be-F1-driver instincts. It was a remarkably peaceful drive back to NJ.

IMG_5227Arriving near home, I ducked into the local car wash, the polished metal metallic paint of my car covered in a mixture of road grime and salt spray from Friday morning’s storm. I usually prefer to hand-wash and wax my car, but I wanted all the salt off as quickly as possible, so my nearby soft-cloth car wash was my last destination. With DH clean once again, I headed back to my apartment.

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310 miles of driving by the time I put my car in park. Now ten months into ownership, the Accord continues to impress with its power, refined chassis, comfortable ride, and fuel efficiency. At some point I should write posts on the road trips that have already happened: the wedding I attended in Wisconsin. The several trips to see friends in Boston. The countless drives down to the Jersey Shore. Those might indeed all be posts for the future. For now, however, I am deeply grateful for a wonderful weekend, and thanks for sharing the ride with me.

 

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