Go West!


October 2nd. 6:00 am. The dawn was finally here. I had hardly slept. Three months of packing up the apartment in New York, dealing with movers, closing down my beloved little city garden a couple of decades in the making, and generally wrapping up the rest of my life in the City.

One last look out the garden door and I climbed into the car and went west. A bit sad, a bit happy, I started out on the road less travelled. Except maybe by convoys of trucks. I'm not sure I expected that part. I chose to drive cross-country on purpose. Flying would have given me too much time to reflect.

Reality kind of bit at me as reached the end of my old block and then started up the FDR to cross the George Washington Bridge for the last time. I'm not going to say my eyes were completely dry. It's been an epic ride in this City and at The Met. OK. I just outed myself. The day job was at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters. I've sort of kept the fuchsias and the Museum separate.

2020 is the Met's 150th year and, after seemingly 150 years at the place myself, it really is time for a change.
I don't like to do these things half way. That might only have taken me to Oklahoma. Oklahoma seems no place for anyone with any common sense, let alone me. Sorry, Oklahoma. I came. I saw. I crossed the wastes as fast as I could.

Oh, Oklahoma. I'm not sure what kind of troglodytes are running your highways and byways and the rest but a toll highway where you have to stop and pay exact change when you need to get off and on to pee but might not have the correct change to get off or on to pee so you have to back the car up four feet to feed dollar bills into a change machine and then drive forward again four feet to drop those coins into the basket may be OK in Zimbabwe but is more than a bit retrograde almost anywhere else. And why, oh why, sixty-five cents? I'm surprised you weren't asking for it in pennies. Ugh. Anyway, I digress so let's skip Oklahoma. Quickly. I was never so happy to see the Texas border.

As you see from the map, the NYC-to-PDX Farewell Tour was an epic 4,200 miles, give or take a couple of wrong turns along the way. It took a few more than the estimated sixty-seven hours. My main goal was to visit a number of botanical garden strung like jewels along the way. First stop? Meet me in St. Louis. I''l pick the gardens up later when I'm better settled in.