It was nothing like Coney Island, or any other place I have ever been. Maybe a little like Vermont, which makes sense. But the trees were different I think.Yestereday the merest red mist on the trees showed that leaves will come, suddenly, all at once, in a few weeks. It is not that far along in Coney. It was foggy and cool and steep. The little car went up up and teetered a moment at the top of each mountain where we were suddenly in the sun and everything was silver. Then the road turned and went down down, and we were inside the fog, and had to slow to a creep.
Son had found an old computer montior, (Apple, circa 1982, that he wanted to use in an art project."I want that beige asthetic," he said.) There was one for sale out in Western Pennsylvania. We thought it might be fun to drive out and get it. And we would save money over having it sent. So we set out, 5 hours each way. It was a part of the country I had never seen. Nor had he. And it was good to drive along, and have time to look and talk. We listened to some podcasts, one on the reformation, one on WW1. He drove a little, but I did most of it. We went nearly all the way to Pittsburg. People had southern accents. We stopped at a diner and had chicken fried steak with gravy. (Well, he did. I had a waffle.)
In the end I think we did not save money. There were tolls to use the Verazzano bridge, and then the New Jersey pike, and then the Pa pike. I had not counted on those. and the diner, of course. We came drag-assing home after midnight. But it was as different from here as can be. A salutory reminder that New York is not the center of the world. And that the country still has a lot of country in it.
The man who sold us the Apple had a horse farm. He directed us back to an outbuilding there which was all full of old computors, and furniture, and tools, and oily rags. It smelled wonderful. I think he was what my mother called a 'gentleman farmer.' That is, a man who can afford to loose money farming because he simply likes to farm. Certainly this man had horses. A horse nearby heard us and wickered, asking 'who are you?' the way Hazel chuffs when people come to our door. It was late by then, and the horse had gone into a nice red barn.It had a long line of box stalls, tidy and clean.We did not see her, but she still asked.
"Too bad it is so late." The man said. "You could have stopped at the Memorial. But it will be closed now." He was diffident, offering the closest thing his town had to a local attraction. "You know," he said. "The flight 93 memorial."
This is, it turns out, that town. And even in the day I would not have gone there. Certainly not in the dark. I have not gone to the 9/11 memorial either. Maybe I will someday.