I'm finally back safe and sound on the 3rd coast, having survived the depravity and cultural elitism of the East Coast. Far too much happened in the two week span to recall here, but I figured I'd throw some stuff out there, because it was an awfuly interesting little jaunt.
Things I learned on my travels:
1) Geraldo flies commercial. No private jet for this man of the people. Though he was riding first class.
2) Midwesterners are still completely awe-struck by the most minor of celebrities.
3) At a good academic conference, academics should be the least of your concern. There's a great deal of fun to be had in New York, whether it be crazy little diners with 25-page menus, a dance club that used to be a shady massage parlor named "Happy Endings," or even just wandering aimlessly for hours because you're lost. It's all very exciting. I did actually make it to a couple of the actual meeting sessions and learned a bunch of intersting things, but that's far less exciting.
4) People in Boston really talk like that. You know, with the word "wicked" and without the letter R. It's like being in a colorful sitcom 24 hours a day.
5) Travelling by train, although about 57 hours longer than a flight, is far superior to any other mode of transportation. The seats are actually large enough for a human being to fit in, and there is an actual dining car. Like in the movies and all that. That shit is crazy old-timey fun.
6) The nice people of the Village are really concerned that you don't accidentally walk into a gay bar. While out in the village with a few friends, two of whom were gay, we were warned both by a random stranger and by the guy working the door at the bar that we should know we were about to enter a gay bar. Apparently, we must have looked extra Midwestern that night, not like the sophisticated New Yorkers we were trying to imitate.
7) The East Coast is really, really expensive.
Well, there's probably several hundred more things I could write, but seeing as this is already a rather inwardly-focused, self-centered post, it's probably best to stop there. Suffice it to say that there were a lot of really fun and crazy times, so just give me a holler if you want to hear the good stories.