The man, originally from Marrakech, who runs the wonderful, just-opened café where I'm presently sipping a delicious café latté explained to me that it has only been since 9/11 that people have discovered the advantages of living in Astoria. Judging by the minimal level of gentrification, that must be the case. But it begs the question of why it took so long. It's not like the Ditmars Ave. line opened yesterday, after all. And there's a hint of sea in the air here that is hard to come by in Midtown. God, I'd come here every day if I lived here.
It's less than a hundred miles from Astoria to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. We left the former at 1:30pm today. At 3:15pm, we had been driving, if you can call it that, without a break and were still in Brooklyn. Factoring in two short bathroom breaks and a longer thirty-minute one necessitated by an I'm-going-to-hurl-from-all-this-stop-and-g
o-traffic-flavored-with-inversion-layer-t rebled-exhaust crisis, we arrived here six-and-a-half hours later. Needless to say, I've had more pleasant experiences behind the wheel. But Skylar is very happy to be ordering my parents around their hotel room and excited to see the wonders of the Lehigh Valley and the cousin she has yet to meet tomorrow.