I arrived in Vermont yesterday to a light drizzle. The rental car place dropped me off at the Brattleboro Coop, a brand new colossus of cooperation quadruple the size of the old coop grocery store they tore down next door. If I had any doubt I was in Vermont, the Kung Pao Seitan in the hot food bar was proof enough and after a quick lunch I headed up the hill to Mocha Joe’s for a coffee and then back down the hill to the Amtrak station to catch the train. I managed to get myself a little soaked through all of this, but nothing that an hour to dry out on the train couldn’t solve.
The train journey south to New York Penn Station was quite pleasant: power, wifi, leather seat that reclined almost fully and vegan burgers in the snack bar; what more did I need. I polished off an episode of Man Men and two of Mr. Selfridge and 6 hours later we arrived in New York.
Where it was raining.
Seriously raining. Torrentially post-tropical-storm raining. Taxi drives by you and you get splashed and suddenly your trousers are sticking to your legs raining.
I was determined, nonetheless, to avoid taking a cab to our rental apartment in Brooklyn: it’s so handy to the East River Ferry that it seemed a crime not to go by boat.
I found my way out of the station, found 34th Street, found out how to pay for the 34th Street bus, hopped on a bus and rode it down 34th, fortunately hearing the driver announce “next stop 28th and 2nd” while there was still time to jump off.
With the river in sight, I walked the rest of the way down 34th and got really, really wet in the process. Shoulder-bag-filled-with-water-passport-soaked wet.
I arrived at the ferry terminal just as the 7:19 boat was about to leave, but they held the gate for me and I stumbled on. Twelve minutes and $4 later I was at the North Williamsburg wharf getting wet again as I tried to find Kent Avenue and then, once found, tried to figure out where on Kent Avenue our apartment was.
After some wrong turns I righted myself and 5 minutes later I walked in on Catherine and Oliver negotiating with the landlord about the leak in the carriage house (nothing a pot and a towel wouldn’t solve).
I peeled myself out of my clothes, set my money and passports on the mantle to dry, and by 9:00 we were eating Sicilian Rice Balls down the street at Monk’s Pizza.
When we travel, it rains. It rained on us for 3 days in Bilbao when Oliver was young enough to be in a stroller (Oliver’s first words were “no bags on feet!). It rained on is in Porto. It rained on my father and I in Plitvice. It rained on my parents and Oliver and me at Fortress Louisbourg to the point where most of our weekend was spent drying out in the laundromat. It rained on us in Venice two years ago to the point where the platforms came out in St. Mark’s Square. We have acquired tens of umbrellas in as many cities.
So we know how to do this and are undeterred.
Now, coffee. Fortunately we are in Williamsburg, where every second storefront is an artisanal coffee roaster.
Oh, and the rain has stopped.