I should first make clear that New York, or more specifically Manhattan, is “The City.” This is not a statement of arrogance or superiority. It is simply tradition. I grew up in one of the communities that sprang up on Long Island in the first decade after the end of World War II. My parents, like virtually all my friends’ parents and probably all the buyers of the affordable new houses that offered young families their small but tangible piece of the American dream, grew up in apartments in the Bronx, Brooklyn, or Queens. Technically, they were already in New York City, but for them, going to The City was going to Manhattan. My generation inherited this nomenclature. We went to visit my grandparents in the Bronx, but we went to a show in The City.

(Interestingly, my sister and her husband came to visit me in Seattle a few years back, and they remarked that where I live, a residential neighborhood of single-family homes, isn’t really “The City.” So perhaps “The City” has a broader meaning for New Yorkers?) Continue reading “Where do you stay in The City?”

When you grow up gay in the suburbs of New York, you develop certain affinities. Like, for instance, the Broadway musical.

(I don’t mean to perpetuate any stereotypes. I actually know plenty of people who like musicals who aren’t from New York. And some of them are straight.)

I saw my first Broadway show in the summer of 1969. I was 13 years old. Even before the curtain went up, I knew there was nothing as thrilling as seeing a big live musical theatre production, sitting in the middle of the front row of the mezzanine. (“Mezzanine” is a word that doesn’t come up often outside of live theatre. It’s a pretty word.) Continue reading “I’m Just a Broadway Baby”

So yeah, I didn’t blog on days 15 and 16. Here they are in a nutshell:

Day 15

I hiked to Angels Landing in Zion National Park. (Except I didn’t go all the way to Angels Landing. I stopped at what is called Scouts Lookout or Scouts Landing. I thought the view from up there was amazing and it was a great hike.) I know I wasn’t going to post pictures from Zion, but above is the view from Scouts Lookout, where I spent about a half hour resting after the climb, chatting with other hikers, and just enjoying the scenery.

Then I did the Riverside Trail, which was a very easy walk along the river. Then I wanted to do two more hikes before departing, but it started to rain, so I left and drove to St. George. Continue reading “Retrospective”

I’ve spent the better part of two weeks exploring some of the most stunning scenery I’ve ever encountered, and today in Bryce Canyon, everything I saw was as beautiful as everything I’ve seen.

Which led me to wonder… If everything is beautiful, is anything beautiful?

If you asked me what was the highlight of my trip, I couldn’t answer. If you asked me the most beautiful place I visited, I would stammer and shrug.

As I wandered around Bryce today and took some three hundred pictures, I wondered how I would pare them down to a reasonable number. They were all equally beautiful. Except they weren’t. After a while, walking and driving through the park, nothing was beautiful. Because how do you measure beauty against the most beautiful things nature has ever produced?

I somehow pared down the 300 photos to 68, which I posted in a Google album.

And above is just one to whet the appetite. It’s the first one I took, my first view of Bryce Canyon from Sunset Point. The one where I just gazed in wonder and didn’t worry about if it was just as beautiful as everything else I’ve seen on my trip.

Check out the rest. They’re really beautiful.

In the last two days I drove from Telluride, Colorado, to Bryce, Utah. I drove through a number of small towns, and the much larger communities of Monticello and Blanding, Utah, and I detoured to Natural Bridges National Monument before stopping for the night in Mexican Hat, Utah. Then I continued south through Monument Valley and through the Navajo reservation, stopping for breakfast in Kayenta, Arizona, toured Lower Antelope Canyon just east of Page, Arizona, crossed the Colorado River at Glen Canyon Dam, and then reentered Utah, ending at Bryce Canyon Pines, where I’m spending two nights as a base for exploring Bryce Canyon National Park.
Continue reading “No Ocean”

I left Durango this morning, heading north on US-550 through Silverton, Ouray, and Ridgway, then southwest and then southeast to Telluride. The drive was spectacular. They had a lot of snow in the mountains yesterday, so it was like driving through a winter wonderland.

The road was also twisty as it climbed up and down over several mountain passes.

I took a lot of pictures through the car windshield while I was driving, all random, and most of them came out far better than I would have expected. Pictures will tell the story much better than I can. (I cropped out the hood of the car from most of the pics.)

I found Silverton the most authentic of the three former mining towns I went through. Except for the main street through town, all the streets are unpaved. And the streets are extremely wide. I don’t know how many buildings are original, but it really had the feeling of an old western town upon which the 21st century has intruded. As opposed to Ouray, which feels more like it has melded its past with with present in a bit of a touristy mix. And Ridgway, which really wasn’t much of anything at all.

Silverton
Ouray, nestled in this tiny, narrow valley, is prettier from a distance than up close.

I’m in Telluride in the off season. Ski season is over, and the summer festival season doesn’t start until next week. The town is very quiet, and the free gondola is not running. I got here in time to take a walk along the San Miguel River (more of a creek really) and have dinner. Tomorrow morning before I leave I will wander through the main shopping district.