2007 – Driving to NYC

In September of 2007, I not only separated (honorably) from the USAF, I also moved from Colorado Springs out to New York.  Technically, I moved to West New York, NJ, but close enough.  Definitely a major transition though, upending my life entirely and heading out to a job and city where I pretty much knew no one.  Well, I did meet my roommate, Shelly, when I househunted earlier in the month, but I had no idea if we’d connect.  Luckily, we did, and those 16 months I lived there were quite amazing.  I wrote about this trip in the course of my previous website incarnation here, but here’s all the pictures in a convenient gallery methodology.

Waypoints!

September 18, 2007 – Colorado Springs, CO to Omaha, NE

CStoOmahaAs you’ll see in the pictures, there was absolutely nothing to see during this drive.  Once you left the Denver area, it was FLAT.  There’s a long stretch where the highway, I-80, thru Nebraska doesn’t turn at all.  I remember though the excitement did come as I got to the eastern half of Nebraska, as that’s when a huge system of storm clouds descended and horrendous rain ensued.  Made the last part of the drive ridiculously tense.  Luckily I got to my hotel in Omaha and enjoyed a sigh of relief at some diner nearby.  Nebraska sucks.

18-Sep-2007 09:30, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
18-Sep-2007 11:17, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
18-Sep-2007 11:25, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.004 sec
 
18-Sep-2007 11:28, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.004 sec
What my view is while driving - dice, GPS, and abso-FUCKING-lutely nothing to see out the window
What my view is while driving - dice, GPS, and abso-FUCKING-lutely nothing to see out the window18-Sep-2007 11:28, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
Welcome to Nebraska, let the boring scenery continue unabated.
Welcome to Nebraska, let the boring scenery continue unabated.18-Sep-2007 13:40, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 4.0, 15.599mm, 0.001 sec
 
18-Sep-2007 16:06, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 10.0, 12.523mm, 0.006 sec
I think this bridge showed up in About Schmidt
I think this bridge showed up in About Schmidt18-Sep-2007 16:07, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 4.9, 23.1mm, 0.002 sec
18-Sep-2007 16:07, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 4.9, 23.1mm, 0.002 sec
 
That storm that hit Colorado on Monday - I caught up to it on Tuesday
That storm that hit Colorado on Monday - I caught up to it on Tuesday18-Sep-2007 17:01, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.002 sec
And it was a doozy - it rained for the last 2 hours I was driving to Omaha
And it was a doozy - it rained for the last 2 hours I was driving to Omaha18-Sep-2007 17:08, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec
 

September 19, 2007 – Omaha, NE to Joliet, IL

OmahatoJolietThe endless march across the country continued this next day along I-80 through America’s Heartland.  It’s a bleak place and I am thankful all the time that I live in cities.  I am certainly not a rural kind of guy.  This wasn’t as long a drive as the previous leg and at the end of it, I was going to get to have dinner with my pal Jeremy.  He had left the Springs a few months earlier to head out here so it was a really fantastic chance to catch up with my best friend at the time.

The next day, I was driving through Iowa's wondrous scenery
The next day, I was driving through Iowa's wondrous scenery19-Sep-2007 09:36, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
19-Sep-2007 09:36, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
The view didn't change much except I added a cup of hot chocolate to it
The view didn't change much except I added a cup of hot chocolate to it19-Sep-2007 09:36, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.005 sec
 
Wow, Iowa wasn't exactly stimulating scenery
Wow, Iowa wasn't exactly stimulating scenery19-Sep-2007 11:34, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.004 sec
Yay, Iowa rest stops!
Yay, Iowa rest stops!19-Sep-2007 12:15, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
Historic Amana; as good a rest stop as could be hoped for!
Historic Amana; as good a rest stop as could be hoped for!19-Sep-2007 12:16, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
 
19-Sep-2007 12:18, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.002 sec
Iowa flag
Iowa flag19-Sep-2007 12:19, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 4.0, 15.599mm, 0.002 sec
Catching my fat ass in the reflection - healthy snacks include Peanut Butter M&Ms and a Diet Pepsi
Catching my fat ass in the reflection - healthy snacks include Peanut Butter M&Ms and a Diet Pepsi19-Sep-2007 12:20, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.008 sec
 
19-Sep-2007 13:39, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 4.5, 18.776mm, 0.002 sec
19-Sep-2007 13:39, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 4.5, 18.776mm, 0.002 sec
19-Sep-2007 13:39, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 4.5, 18.776mm, 0.002 sec
 
Mississippi River approaches
Mississippi River approaches19-Sep-2007 13:40, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 4.5, 18.776mm, 0.002 sec
19-Sep-2007 13:40, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 4.5, 18.776mm, 0.002 sec
Approaching I-680's bridge over the Mississippi River
Approaching I-680's bridge over the Mississippi River19-Sep-2007 13:40, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 4.9, 23.1mm, 0.002 sec
 

September 20, 2007 – Joliet, IL to Cleveland, OH

JoliettoClevelandA very uneventful drive, with pretty much nothing to look at.  Even when skirting Michigan and being so close to Cedar Point, still nothing to really see.  Where I stayed in Cleveland was far away from anything of note, so yeah, it was a big blah.  At least the next night I knew I was going to be meeting up with Sgt Jenny!

And then after Joliet's stop, I was on the road again - here's Indiana
And then after Joliet's stop, I was on the road again - here's Indiana20-Sep-2007 09:44, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.002 sec
And Ohio
And Ohio20-Sep-2007 12:35, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 3.5, 10.487mm, 0.002 sec
And a pic of a Magnum - was I stalking Jeff way the hell out here?
And a pic of a Magnum - was I stalking Jeff way the hell out here?20-Sep-2007 14:25, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.005 sec
 

September 21, 2007 – Cleveland, OH to Philadelphia, PA

clevelandtophilly

I was reunited with Sgt Jenny!  I got to Philly later in the afternoon and after checking into my nice hotel in the city center, we met up for dinner.  We first walked around South Street, which is a thing kind of like Melrose (it seemed at the time), then she drove me to an authentic philly cheese steak place where she left me to fend for myself and look like a jackass.   I emerged safely, without turning into this:

That commercial cracks me the fuck up.  We then arranged to meet up again the next day for some more sightseeing before I left for Atlantic City…..

Pennsylvania welcomes ME
Pennsylvania welcomes ME21-Sep-2007 09:38, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.002 sec
As does the suckass rush hour traffic of Philadelphia on a Friday
As does the suckass rush hour traffic of Philadelphia on a Friday21-Sep-2007 15:26, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.01 sec
There is the city o' Philly
There is the city o' Philly21-Sep-2007 15:37, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 3.2, 9.028mm, 0.002 sec
 
Total paparazzi shot of Jenny
Total paparazzi shot of Jenny21-Sep-2007 17:10, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 315
21-Sep-2007 17:15, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 165
The total-Philly site of my authentic cheese steak experience
The total-Philly site of my authentic cheese steak experience21-Sep-2007 18:03, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.2 sec, ISO 141
 
Spooky cemetery in the middle of the city
Spooky cemetery in the middle of the city21-Sep-2007 18:53, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 1 sec, ISO 200
South Street from the pier part of it
South Street from the pier part of it21-Sep-2007 19:16, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.25 sec, ISO 200
Demon Jenny
Demon Jenny21-Sep-2007 19:16, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.8 sec, ISO 200
 
21-Sep-2007 19:20, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 4.0, 15.599mm, 0.5 sec, ISO 200
Spooky Sixth Senseish type of street
Spooky Sixth Senseish type of street21-Sep-2007 19:29, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 1 sec, ISO 200
21-Sep-2007 19:33, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 4.5, 18.776mm, 0.8 sec, ISO 200
 
21-Sep-2007 19:33, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 4.5, 18.776mm, 0.4 sec, ISO 400
 

September 22, 2007 – Sightseeing in Philly with Jenny

IMG_2025The fun continued the next morning!  We walked around the main central area where everything is conveniently piled together, from the Liberty Bell, the place where the Constitution was signed, and more.  Also did a bus tour where we were nearly killed repeatedly by low-hanging trees.  GOOD TIMES!!

Jenny the next day
Jenny the next day22-Sep-2007 08:20, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.004 sec
After breakfast
After breakfast22-Sep-2007 09:00, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.013 sec
Taking a pic looking towards the Independence hall area
Taking a pic looking towards the Independence hall area22-Sep-2007 09:07, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.004 sec
 
There's Independence Hall surrounded by all the rest of Philly
There's Independence Hall surrounded by all the rest of Philly22-Sep-2007 09:09, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 4.0, 15.599mm, 0.006 sec
Closer
Closer22-Sep-2007 09:13, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
In front of Independence Hall, along with the Marines who were filming one of their commercials at the time
In front of Independence Hall, along with the Marines who were filming one of their commercials at the time22-Sep-2007 09:13, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
 
Again
Again22-Sep-2007 09:13, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
Marines were there doing something on camera.
Marines were there doing something on camera.22-Sep-2007 09:16, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.01 sec
IH again
IH again22-Sep-2007 09:17, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.006 sec
 
Me and the Liberty Bell!
Me and the Liberty Bell!22-Sep-2007 09:31, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.01 sec
22-Sep-2007 09:31, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 3.5, 10.487mm, 0.013 sec
Cool way to locate it with Independence Hall behind it
Cool way to locate it with Independence Hall behind it22-Sep-2007 09:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.005 sec
 
22-Sep-2007 09:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.004 sec
The place where you get your IH tickets - it has a lot of other cool things in there too, including WTF Joe
The place where you get your IH tickets - it has a lot of other cool things in there too, including WTF Joe22-Sep-2007 09:37, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec
Standard Jenny
Standard Jenny22-Sep-2007 09:51, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.01 sec
 

After that, we said goodbye and it was time for me to move on to Atlantic City, which fortunately is not all that far from Philadelphia.

Sept 22, 2007 (continued) – Philadelphia, PA to Atlantic City, NJ

Philly_to_AtlanticCityThis was such a nice and easy drive!  And even better it was towards a casino!  I had figured that I didn’t know when I’d next get to Vegas and I’d always wanted to visit Atlantic City.  Well, let’s say the itch has been scratched!  It’s fine enough as a place, but it’s no Vegas.  I was only there for one night and didn’t leave, but it was strange to notice that everything is spread out.  I was staying at the (then) Trump Marina which is near absolutely nothing else.  So I never saw the Boardwalk or Park Place, but I did get to gamble and that, my friends, is the important thing.  It was very nerve-wracking though to realize that I was thisclose to starting the next chapter of my life, as th next day, I was going to be arriving at West New York, NJ and my new home!

Driving on Ben Franklin bridge
Driving on Ben Franklin bridge22-Sep-2007 13:18, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.006 sec
22-Sep-2007 13:18, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.006 sec
Welcome to Atlantic City... always turned on???? WTF Joe? Howza 'bout a STS?
Welcome to Atlantic City... always turned on???? WTF Joe? Howza 'bout a STS?22-Sep-2007 14:12, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.006 sec
 
My Atlantic City hotel - the Trump Marina Casino Hotel - very nice!
My Atlantic City hotel - the Trump Marina Casino Hotel - very nice!22-Sep-2007 14:17, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 4.0, 15.599mm, 0.002 sec
22-Sep-2007 21:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec
22-Sep-2007 21:33, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec
 
22-Sep-2007 21:33, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.2 sec
22-Sep-2007 21:33, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.125 sec
22-Sep-2007 21:33, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.8 sec
 

September 23, 2007 – Atlantic City, NJ to West New York, NJ

AtlanticCity_to_WestNewYorkIMG_2127This drive was a little more interesting as I got my first taste of the shit show that is New Jersey highways and the Turnpike (aka I-95).  UGH.  As soon as you join the Turnpike, suddenly everything becomes intense.  Lots of cryptic exits, highway exits that seemingly make no sense, and just TONS of roads all seemingly going the same direction.  I ended up calling my new roommate Shelly as I was getting close as it just got nuts.  Of course, to get to West New York, you have to take the I-95 to 495 up to the very last point before you’d enter the Lincoln Tunnel, which is also a very exciting experience.  One wrong or missed turn, and you’re going to Manhattan!  But I did make it okay (thanks, Garmin!) and was insanely stoked when driving that first time on River Road north towards my new home and you looked east over the Hudson and see the glorious view of Manhattan staring at you.  That’s where my life was going to be!!!!  I can still remember exactly how excited and how scared I was, not knowing if this was going to be one epic shit show or what.  Fortunately, it turned out pretty great, including having a wonderful roommate to live with for the first 16 months there.  Shelly really made my NY life truly special and was key to being a support system and encouraging me for getting out there.  It was a special period of time and I’ll never forget it.

23-Sep-2007 11:45, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.006 sec
Looking from the kitchen into the living room
Looking from the kitchen into the living room23-Sep-2007 16:09, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 151
The kitchen in the new apartment
The kitchen in the new apartment23-Sep-2007 16:10, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 
Looking towards my bathroom from the kitchen
Looking towards my bathroom from the kitchen23-Sep-2007 16:10, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
23-Sep-2007 16:10, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
Looking into my bedroom
Looking into my bedroom23-Sep-2007 16:11, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 
My furniture-less bedroom
My furniture-less bedroom23-Sep-2007 16:11, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
The hallway of the 4th floor - looks like a hotel, right?
The hallway of the 4th floor - looks like a hotel, right?23-Sep-2007 16:16, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
My home for the next 16 months
My home for the next 16 months23-Sep-2007 16:18, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec
 
Very nice place to live, especially having a grocery store downstairs
Very nice place to live, especially having a grocery store downstairs23-Sep-2007 16:29, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec
23-Sep-2007 16:30, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.01 sec
The skyline view from our part of the NJ coastline
The skyline view from our part of the NJ coastline23-Sep-2007 16:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.002 sec
 
23-Sep-2007 16:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
I did end up running along this wonderful pathway
I did end up running along this wonderful pathway23-Sep-2007 16:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.005 sec
23-Sep-2007 16:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.01 sec
 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Since 2001 or so, sharing stuff