Saturday, May 7, 2016

Calling Out the Exit Signs Like Promises to Keep

Escape from NYC

Laguardia airport food

St Louis Airport 

Alton, Illinois
P's hometown on the river. Bluffs and cobblestone streets, river rock houses. Fairytale type of place.
The Piasa Bird, a local legend.

Godfrey, Illinois
Bub's house that he designed and built right on the Mississippi river bluffs.  I true beauty and always a little breathtaking to see.
Sunny and as bright as you've ever seen it one minute...
and then...A big storm came and wiped out the power in the whole city 

 At a candlelit bar trying to figure out how to eat in a small town that lost it's power.
 This gal introduced herself and told us she'd been to NYC once.
 P's mom is kind of adorable and the nicest woman. 
 P made us stand in pouring rain to take shot and still didn't get a clear pic. Smh.
Ice cream dream after a huge steak dinner.  Finally finding a steak & brewery open in neighboring Alton town.

Fort Wayne, Indiana

My hometown.
Breakfast at Cracker Barrel.  When you see sides on a breakfast menu it's usually a choice of one or the other. This place you get them all! 
Lexy's Pizza.  A great memory spot.  A terrible pizza.  Good thing we weren't hungry.  Just couldn't pass it up. Mind you for some unknown reason I chose a weird combination special like buffalo chicken or something.  Rookie move.

Powers Hamburgers. Stuffed from breakfast but I had to get some of this mythical potion into P's belly.  You can tell a thousand tales but no one gets it until they eat of the magic castle. Something about the onions and that chili with the little oyster crackers.  Why is this so damn good?

Dinner with Dave and Betty at Takaoka of Japan.  So good I didn't stop eating after the soup... to take more pics

After dinner we took a short walk behind their house and Dave showed us his karate studio and his handmade leather stuff.  P got a knife holder, which I really wanted but was afraid to ask for one.

A picture hung on their wall that my other brother Ernie painted just for David.  A place they had been together.

The Indiana Hotel, home of our first restaurant and to many a childhood memory.

The 'old' neighborhood.  What they now call Eastenders.  Poor, semi country feel, a mix of Memphis and Detroit.  I happen to love being there because of how strong it affects me bad and good.
Zesto's Ice Cream, for their Boston Coolers.  Open but not at all impressed by my wild excitement and stories of coming there as a teen.
Giant breakfast with Dave & Betty a Spyros Pancake House
David wanted a picture of me and P.  I was showing them how to use the camera.  Never got that pic but this one is my favorite.  
Almost ready to leave my brother.  This is that smile you get when you know you're gonna start bawling thinking of everything but you keep it together because you know he wouldn't want you to get all gushy.

A pawn shop with a great music selection. 

Mister Miller's house. Home of Lana Turner, my childhood friend the chihuahua.  Quite the little lady. You could hear her coming to visit by the clicking of her little toenails on the sidewalk.  Sounded like high heels to me. Never walked on the lawns.  A class act.  Caught Mr Miller was his giant willy out in his car one day muttering something.  I never came in his house after that day but Lana and I remained friends.
A particularly special image for me.  On the street behind us growing up were all old dark mysterious houses with covered porches on a hill.  They must have used the back entrance because I never saw one person come in or out through the front.  I fantasized about walking up these stairs one day.  I still didn't do it. Just took the picture.

Fort Wayne is the city of churches and there are so many still.  Beautiful and you can see the peaks from many angles. St Andrews below would be my first one on New Haven Ave.
Moved to this house at 14 years old and life changed from winter to spring in one summer.

Downtown was cute and quiet but had new life.

Coney Island Hot Dogs, the 100 year old institution.
One of the workers took a smoke break and asked me if I really had on a Dylan shirt.  We were thrilled to talk to a local but turns out he plays shows in Brooklyn in his band..something with Orange in it. 

A pint and a slice..
Coffee to go and hit the road again

On the road to Cincinnati...and the gittin there in-between


The world's largest rocking chair and the biggest chimes and wouldn't you know right across the street from each other.  Imagine that.

Cincinnati, Ohio

On the way to see Hayes Carll in a cool old theater.

1st row, best show.  He was everything we wanted to see.
Came out afterwards in one of the strongest downpours I've seen in years.  Literally soaked by the time we reached the car.  Movie rain.

But we had this ultra hip cute hotel room and take out Skyline Chili to devour.

Spencer, Indiana

Finding the brother's mushroom farm was similar to some dreams I've had.  You just kept driving deeper and deeper into the innards of Southern Indiana until the road was just enough for one.

Greeted with friendly faces and had an amazing tour of the workings of, the real world.

Bloomington, Indiana
And later dinner with the boys in Bloomington, a short drive from that green heaven.  I want to say it was called the Irish Lion.
Nathan ordered fish and chips, a solid choice.  Mark got the Chicken Cordon Bleu, I think.  
P won big with his choice with huge chunks of lamb.
Mine, corned beef and cabbage was solid but I think the idea to separate these good friends might have ruined the party a little.  A more elegant plate but less fun for the mouth.
A food highlight would have to be the Coddle house stew made with potatoes, sausage, bacon and onion.  Served with lots of soda bread and butter.  Apparently it's typical dublin pub food but it was the only thing that night for me....
..until the dessert that is, the Irish Apple Walnut Cake.  Good Lord!

St Louis, Missouri

P's sister Beth made these sinful egg casseroles, one with chiles.  She had a huge spread of sweets and fruits and we had a great brunch together with her whole family. 
Afterwards our godson showed us his new guitar and played us a sampling.

Highway Rewind 

Miscellaneous bad fast food but not enough to spoil the memory.

After the family, the most beauty came from out the side window of that rental car all along the drive.  Just blue skies and deep green mixed with yellow wild flowers throughout.

It's always unclear if P is happy to be back in NY.  More likely his eyes tell a story of deep conflict.

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