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2005-11-07 - 9:16 a.m.

...the Hudson River Valley...

This past weekend provided us with a beautiful Indian Summer. Saturday the temperatures were in the mid-70's (Fahrenheit). I took the train up to Irvington to visit my friend Joe.

The trip took more than two hours because of New York's exhausted public transit system...I was feeling rather irritated and perturbed when I was forced to transfer to my third train and took more than hour to complete a trip that should have taken half that. But the irritation quickly evaporated when I sat on the Metro North train and gazed across the Hudson River at the golden leaves framing the Palisades Cliffs, with the afternoon sun shimmering on the water.

Joe and I went for an easy walk through the trees in Irvington. I would have preferred something a little bit more exhilerating, but Joe's plan had been more of a leisurely stroll with plenty of stops for photographs. Either way, the weather was so beautiful that everyone was out and enjoying the weather - we stumbled happily along the path.

Afterwards Joe took me out for a lovely dinner - truly wonderful food. We talked like two people who don't get out much. It was interesting, in retrospect. I've noticed before that after a long day of airplane travel, I'm filled up with conversation that needs to spill out. The same occurred with Joe. The two of lead rather solitary lives and we spent the whole afternoon trying to get in our say and be heard. I don't think there was a single pause in the conversation from the time I arrived to the time I extricated myself from his car in front of my house at midnight. Joe and I always have something to say to each other.

The Hudson River Valley still makes my whole body feel funny and romantic. The whole time I was visited by pleasant ghosts and pleasant yearnings from the 90s. But I think it is more than whitewashed memories that made me feel good. I think I need to be closer to trees and water. I need to live in a smaller town, where these feelings are a regular part of my life.

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