Observations on Train Travel

For my Christmas vacation, I rode the train from New York Penn Station all the way to my hometown train station in Alton, Illinois, which happens to be less than a mile from my parents’ house. The trip involved riding the Lake Shore Limited from NYC to Chicago and switching trains at Union Station.

fail trainAs you might guess, it was not a short trip. Continue reading

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Queens Writers: Submit Your Writing to Newtown Literary!

If you are a writer living in NYC’s borough of Queens, or are from Queens, or have lived in Queens, or have a polished piece of writing — be it fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, book review, or essay — that is in one way or another Queens-esque, (“celebrating a diversity of voices and experiences, especially those often not given space,” from the submission guidelines page) now is the time to submit to Queens’ first literary journal: Newtown Literary.

issue-3-coverThe deadline is February 28, so you’ve got a little time to submit, but don’t put it off long! Continue reading

New York Cares Volunteering pt. 4

As was the case between my first post about volunteering through New York Cares and the second, and between the second and the third, a lot has happened since I last wrote about the volunteering hobby I started in September.

I have now led the Coler Hospital Variety Night project on Roosevelt Island a few times, and I have decided to team lead a brand new book cart project at Beth Abraham Hospital in the Bronx where I previously participated in a game night as part of the five-borough challenge for new volunteers.

The new bi-weekly book cart project starts in January, since I figured it would be easiest just to start after the holidays are over and we’re in the New Year. The concept is to bring a book cart (loaded up with books and magazines beforehand by hospital staff) around to hospital residents’ rooms from 2 to 4 pm on Saturdays.

It’s not just about providing some reading material, though. It’s about chatting with people who just need someone to talk to and showing them that they are cared about and not forgotten. In some social situations I can be a little shy or introverted, but when it comes to volunteering I get to turn on my extroverted side and meet interesting new people. Continue reading

Seeking a Roommate in LIC, Queens – rent $900/mo

Today I don’t have an edifying thought piece for you, a short story, or even a poem. No, this post is a shameless plug for the bedroom opening up in my apartment because my roommate is moving in with his girlfriend.

The rent is $900 in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens. All utilities and shared things (toilet paper, hand soap, etc.) included. Pictures and many more details are available at the Craigslist posting I put up this morning.

The Upper West Side is …

  • Sunday brunch with a cool grandma
  • a Westhighland terrier
  • a jazz man playing solo outside Trader Joe’s
  • a self-proclaimed Dive Bar that’s not a dive
  • the ghost of Teddy Roosevelt
  • a woman who wears floral dresses every night of the week
  • a man with a black ponytail, salt-and-pepper beard, and a purple beret
  • a picnic on a boulder
  • girls’ night out at a wine bar
  • a long talk on a long walk
  • an ornate building standing proud
  • a cafe next to a cafe next to another cafe
  • a jogger weaving through pedestrians on Broadway
  • a couple who married and moved uptown from SoHo
  • a tourist snapping photos of Tom’s Restaurant
  • hot tea on a fall night
  • an ugly old brooch on a pretty young woman
  • a first date in a dark restaurant
  • a tree-lined residential street where you can breathe in deep
  • a Midwestern suburbanite falling in love with the city

New York Cares volunteering Pt. 3

My friends seem to like my accounts of volunteering through New York Cares, a fantastic volunteering organization that has allowed me to help out on a wide variety of projects all over the city. So here I am writing a third edition to catch everyone up on my experiences since I wrote last time. There’s a lot of ground to cover since it’s been about three weeks since my part 2, so I might sum things up more quickly this time.

Variety Night at Coler Hospital

Continue reading