Tuesday, November 12th:
Red-Eye Flight: CA to NJ
Wednesday, November 13th:
Arriving early in the a.m to take a train and a subway to my first my first AirB&B in Harlem NY. There I met up with a close friend of mine and spent the day perusing Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum. Pizza at a pizza place I regret not remembering, beer at Prohibition; a NYC version of Shady Lady in Sacramento. Thrifting followed.
Firday, November 14th:
Early arrival to experience Times Square. It is just as I expected. We make our way to Mood Fabrics and the Rockefeller Plaza before we arrive at our destination for the day: NYC MoMA. There where times when the pure joy of being there wouldn't let my mouth wear anything but a childish grin. We stayed late to see the special exhibition: Henri Matisse Cut-Outs. Somehow I lost $80 during a restroom break in the Matisse exhibit. I regret nothing. Ended the evening with meeting with a long time friend who is now a sideshow entertainer over hummas bowls and drinks. Odd as he might be. I miss his company. We ended the evening with a quick demonstration of his performances involving a lit cigarette and his forearm.
Saturday, November 15th:
A day for visiting the Statue of Liberity. The Ferry ride was wonderful- cold, moist, windy, but wonderful. It is a lot smaller than expected, and the idea of getting on a boat just to get off and get back on was tickling my logic. Dinner at Vannesa's Dumpling House. (I type this more as a reminder to go back there, than for you. That place was magic.)
Sunday, November 16th:
We wake up early and say goodbye to our wonderful host (and her dog). Brittany, my friend and travel companion) heads back home and I head to Avis in NJ to rent a car and begin my grad school scout adventures.
Beginning the road trip from Newark, NJ to Edinboro, PA. I spent the first night in Erie, PA in a hotel nervously watching the weather channel hopeing it wouldn't snow.
Monday, November 17th:
It snowed. The little plastic gizmo that was on the passengers seat is an ice scraper. I know this now. I had just under an hour to get acclimated to driving in the snow to reach my first school. I arrived on time. The professors and the fellow grad students in the metals program were as warm at the hot coco I had after I had the campus tour. Despite the white weather, they were a top choice. Another thing that suprised me: snow tunnels. Being outside is cold, and the folks in PA decided to be in the cold as infrequent as possible. I left that night after having the most horrible spaggetti at a local resturant.
Tuesday, November 18th:
I woke up in Rochester in a house owned by a woman named Amber. Another AirBnb connection. Again, I brush the snow off my rental car. Within two hours I will be the coldest I've ever been in my life. A one and a half hour walking tour of the Syracus campus in 15 degree weather. The campus looked like Hogwartz. The staff were friendly and knowledgeable. And the eqiupment in the art building was astonishing. Definitely a school worth considering. I leave late. Not a problem. The grad students and the professors were worth the delay travel. Actually, since I'm traveling to a hostel and they close their doors at 11pm, it kind of is a problem. I call up the folks at the New Paltz hostel and tell them I'll be late. It's a hippy community. They doen't mind.
Wednesday, November 19th:
It was dark when I arrived, but the morning exposed all sorts of vibrant blues, purple walls. Hundreds of thumb tacks are scattered across a giant world map in the kitchen. New Paltz University.... New Paltz. I feel like I should say it again because I thought my experience there was just too surreal to be true. I won't go into detail, but I'm a firm believer that craft is an absolute neccessity when creating art. Moving on.
I found another hostel in Philadelphia that used to be a mansion. It was filled with portraits of well-to-do men wearing silk stalkings, and flags linning the balcony of this 4 story piece of history. The womens room had perhaps 15 bunk beds between the 3 female visitors that night.
Thursday, November 20th:
Temple Univeristy metals program must've had enough patrons to make a deck of playing cards. The equpment there was lavish and the graduate program was well developed. However, I'm still on the fence about embracing modern technology via 3D printing or creating my work using more traditional means. Their desire for design-based works was a polar opposite from New Paltz. Sadly, the thing that turned me away from Temple was being 3 blocks away from the campus facade, and seeing a group of homeless men hudded around a burning barrel next to a building that was missing a chunk of concrete. I can't cope with seeing extreme affluence juxtaposed to extreme poverty like that. I just can't.
Friday, November 21st:
This was the day reserved for visiting NJCU. However, NOBODY made an effort to reply to me. If I can't get their attention as a potential student, the hope of getting their attention as a student was grim. I spent the day being terrified of New Jersey drivers, and being in constant awe of the number of tolls I had to pay. I arrive at the airport and return my rental car. By the grace of my paranoia, I have unlocked an achievement: Driving in Snow Without Crashing.
Saturday, November 22nd:
Still Friday night according to my circadian rhythm. I chat with strangers for the entirety of the red-eye direct flight from Newark, NJ to Sacramento, CA. I miss my bed, and will be sleeping hard once I am in it.