Quarantine walk one.

I walk a lot. It’s one of my favorite things to do. One time I walked (jogged a bit) to all the zoos (Prospect Park, Queens, Central Park, & Bronx) in a day. I’ve inadvertently wandered to Floyd Bennett Field. These days seem to be inviting a long, solo walk. I was made for these times.

Here’s a walk. I’ll describe it a bit. If you live in Brooklyn, give it a go – it’ll take you between 90 minutes and two hours, depending on how ramble-y your walking style. If you’re looking for a soundtrack, I was listening to the previously posted “Nilssolation” mix. Deviations and distractions are recommended – this is a loose recollection of my path with a couple of notable bits.

My path – starting at the circle on the lower left.

Start at Machate Circle (which I pronounce “machete” in my head and have never spoken aloud), at the southwest tip of Prospect Park.

Briefly walk north along the park, taking a left at Greenwood and follow that to the end. If you’re on the north side of the street, you’ll see one of the saddest attempts at a wall north of the border (zing). Right on Prospect Ave.

Great Wall

Take a left on Vanderbilt Street – which becomes 18th Street. Follow it up until Prospect Park West.

Take a left and that’ll lead you straight to Green-Wood Cemetery, one of the loveliest places in all of Brooklyn; a reliable home to tranquility. Quick note: Green-Wood has a few entrances. I have never looked ahead to see which entrances are open at which times, but I also handle frustration very well, just sayin’…

It can be quite easy to lose yourself in Green-Wood, for better or for worse. As you enter, take a right and roughly stay to the right. Or don’t! Wander about for hours! It really is one of my favorite places.

Green-Wood is home to some of the highest spots in Brooklyn. You know, in case you wanted to see the Statue of Liberty, but really, really small.

Eventually escape the graveyard via the 5th Avenue entrance (which is the one that is open most reliably – but I didn’t check that fact either, so…) and take a right on 5th Ave. There are some good murals and such in this area, if that’s your sort of thing.

Upon exiting Green-Wood, you can see the remnants of one of NYC’s last Victorian greenhouses (McGovern Weir Greenhouse, built in 1880). So there’s that.

Take a right on Prospect Ave and keep an eye out for Webster Place.

Take a left on Webster Place and you’ll suddenly find yourself on a charming block of excellent old (Queen Anne style?) houses – almost like you’ve briefly stumbled into San Francisco.

And then in a moment you’re back in Brooklyn. Take a right on 16th and hold steady.

I’ve never entered this bar, but there is a really good Faces bootleg with the same name.

Enter Prospect Park and take a right. Do not go to the main path. There is no reason to go to the main (boring) path. What, are you a runner? Honestly, you can do better than the main path. Trust me. Just stay on the much nicer (and less populated) path between the main path and the road.

Follow the path south and before you know it, you’ll be back at Machate!

Got My HoJo Workin’

The American Sign Museum had multiple Howard Johnson’s signs. This one was the for the former Times Square location. But mostly it just makes me think of NRBQ. And anything that makes me think of NRBQ is good. So the American Sign Museum was good.

One of the very best there is – Terry Adams of the Q back in October, looking and sounding GREAT

I have yet to stay in a HoJo this trip… mostly crashing with friends and occasionally camping. But I sneak in a hotel/motel stay now and then. One of the nice things about traveling alone is I’m able to enjoy the absurdity of a cheap hotel without worrying if my traveling companion is less amused. For example:

This was the set-up at one such motel. A desk with many cords behind it, a microwave atop it, and, thankfully, a ratty old desk chair so I could be comfortable if I wanted to watch my food heat up. My stay was short, so I didn’t get to make the most of this set-up, but figured it was worth preserving in case I ever get into interior design and need some sort of inspiration.

Road trip day one.

I drove from Plantsville, Connecticut to Corning, New York. A pleasure. 300 miles down.

My music for the trip is a random selection of about 2,000 songs from my entire library. So I’m finding some gems I hadn’t heard in a while. I’m already on my way to mixtape of discoveries from the drive.

I also stopped at a Fly Fishing museum (not THE Fly Fishing museum; while this one was great, it isn’t alone).

Like the Coal Mine Tour & Museum in West Virginia or the Devil’s Rope (barbed wire) Museum in Texas, this museum was an impressive amount of material proving that I know even less than I thought about the topic of the museum. I think it is great. And it’s a beautiful thing when people can identify something they love enough for a museum. Now I’m busy thinking about MY future museum.

I also learned that “Jungle Cock” is not (necessarily) a term that you’d use exclusively in pornography. I mean, maybe YOU would, but I’m beyond that.

Unrelated:

Here’s a picture of a halloween witch (?) with a metal detector in Prospect Park last weekend. I wonder what I’m missing this weekend…

Fall approaching

My favorite season is almost here. Summer is dying and it is the best. Apples are coming! Crisp air! Foliage! Hot drinks!

Also it’s a good time for mushroom hunting. Sadly, I have not been mushroom hunting in quite a while. And while many people I know are interested in the gastronomic aspect of foraging, I just like the experience. Mushrooms can be so weird and beautiful, it’s just fun to be out there and spot something truly unique looking. And the whole experience is quite zen-like… you’ve gotta be patient and move slow. It’s very rewarding.

That right there is a trombone player who used his concert break to gather mushrooms. This was the cover of David Arora’s smaller mushroom book, All That the Rains Promise. It’s a great picture, but I’m actually a sucker for his earlier (and much larger) book, Mushrooms Demystified. It’s got hundreds of pages of information about mushrooms, tips for mushroom hunting, and a very extensive guide to North American mushrooms. But the most important part of the book is a line in the introduction:

Over the year, I’ve turned this into something like, “the mushrooms don’t care what we call them, and certainly don’t care who we think they’re related to.” A mushroom doesn’t have a connected ring or purple gills to stand out from other mushrooms. It’s not choosing to be poisonous out of spite. Not that classification isn’t useful – it is! It’s just nice to have the reminder that classification is our choice, certainly not the mushroom’s.