Home again

I am back home from New York City, a bit bedraggled but thoroughly enjoyed myself. Saw Aimee Mann in concert, the anniversary reproduction of Harold Pinter’s “The Homecoming”, Southland Tales, shopped in open air markets, was a guest on the Hour of the Wolf, which you can listen to here, and ate lots and lots of good food. Gave a reading at the KGB Bar last night with Naomi Novik. The place was packed. My friend and colleague from YSU, Phil Brady, was in town and came, so we had another Youngstowner in attendance. Afterwards I had dinner with everyone at an amazing Chinese place nearby. The actress Helen Mirren was there, too. I stared unabashedly once this was brought to my attention. Luckily I was outside the restaurant when that happened, finished with my meal, and could stare through the restaurant window at the second floor at her, without her noticing and feeling like she had a stalker. I barely slept last night, got up at 5 AM this morning to get ready and catch a taxi to the airport in time for my way-too-early flight to Pittsburgh. On the way, my driver made it clear to me over and over that he had only just arrived in America recently, and kept asking me for directions to LaGuardia as he took me further and further out of the city. On one exit he asked if it said LaGuardia. I was totally out of it and sort of looked up and said yes anyway, even though after we passed into that exit and into a tunnel I immediately wasn’t sure if I had just said yes as an automatic response or if the sign really had said LaGuardia. Getting ready to go into another entrance ramp lane, he pulled up beside another cabbie, rolled down his window, and said in a hysterical voice, “LaGuardia!? LaGuardia!?” and the other driver looked back at him in puzzlement, concern and panic, shaking his hand as he drove, a gesture that said, “I don’t know what the hell you’re saying!” I rolled down my window at that point and said, “Which exit is LaGuardia?” and he told the other driver to follow him. It was the most ridiculous taxi ride I have ever experienced outside of Tijuana and Bangkok. New York, oh, New York, how the mighty have fallen.

My eyes are dry and puffy from lack of sleep. I have a cough that came with a cold two weeks ago, but didn’t leave when the cold left. My body feels heavy and fatigued. I am going to make tonkatsu for dinner, because tonkatsu makes everything better. Always, always.

Thank you for a great week, New York and its denizens. I hope everyone has a great holiday season. Now I’m off to settle down into bed for a cold winter’s night.



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7 responses to “Home again”

  1. Rick Bowes Avatar
    Rick Bowes

    Oh my, I watched from the corner after you got into that cab and had a bad feeling about it because of the way he just sat there even after the light had changed. I was going to go over and suggest we find another cab. Then I said to myself, “He lives in YOUNGSTOWN so he must be able to deal with a little town like New York and besides I have lots of other godchildren.” But a godparent’s first instincts are always correct.

  2. Christopher Barzak Avatar

    Yes, Youngstown has prepared me for dealing with literally *everything* that will come my way in life! LOL

  3. Karen Avatar

    Maybe he thought you wanted to go to the actual LaGuardia, I mean the zombified mayor. In which case it is understandable that your driver needed a little help with directions.

  4. Christopher Barzak Avatar

    Ha! So true!

  5. fusakota Avatar


     ラジオを聴(き)いてみたよ。前(まえ)のはどうやっても聴けなかったけど、今回(こんかい)は大丈夫(だいじょうぶ)。すごくなつかしい感(かん)じがして、「そうだ、これはWire Boy 」と気付(きづ)いた。
     でも、英語(えいご)がわたしには速(はや)すぎて、ついていけない。これがほんとうのあなたのしゃべる英語なんだね。アメリカ北東部(ほくとうぶ)のしゃべりかた?  ふと、Distancia という言葉(ことば)が浮(う)かんで消(き)えた。


  6. Tyler Avatar

    That’s the funniest cab story I’ve ever heard!

  7. Christopher Barzak Avatar

    I’ve got more where that comes from, Tyler. I almost died in Tijuana, and was almost abducted in Bangkok. There’s a thrilling escape narrative that follows, but I’ll save it for a party. 😉

    Okaasan, I’m glad you were able to hear the radio interview finally! My mom had trouble tuning in when it was live, too, but this link works well. I’m sure it was hard to catch everything we were saying during the interview. It’s so fast-paced, so more and more difficult to understand. I’m glad you were able to hear my voice again, though! Merry Christmas!

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