NYC - Now Departing Gate G16

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

It was difficult if not impossible to sleep. I tossed. I turned. I watched hour after hour of Simpsons episodes in the faint hope of finding fatigue in the series' weaker late seasons. Season 15, in particular, was to be a sure thing. I was let down again. (for the record, season 16 is looking up).

Our plane left Saskatoon at 6:45 AM, so after falling asleep somewhere in the neighbourhood of 3:00, there wasn't much sleeping left to do. It didn't matter, apparently, as I was wide awake and excited to go when I woke at 5:00. Dad drove me to the airport and we were there at six on the nose. Dan, Darren, and Kurt were already there and I'd already confirmed our presence online the night prior, so we were pretty much set to go.

While waiting to get through security, a girl waved at what looked to be me. Which, if you know me at all, is impossible. So I presumed it was someone behind me, but it turns out that Chris, a friend of Julia's, was seeing someone off at the airport. Thankfully, she came over and I only felt like half a jerk. Once through security, I also ran into Scott who was enroute to San Diego to visit a different Chris and someone from the restaurant. Sure hope I didn't miss anyone.

The flight was uneventful except that we were seated in row 19, squarely beside the fuselage mounted engines of the DC-9. Which gave me a chance to hear first hand the astonishing properties of my brand-new-arrived-the-night-before ER-6 Isolating Headphones. I was able to hear every little nuance of Matt and Eleanor Friedberger's Blueberry Boat. Also, I finally got the chance to start reading William Gibson's Pattern Recognition, which Mike graciously lent to me a week ago. I would soon find this book extremely appropriate to the voyage and that I had developed some sort of crush on Cayce, whom I picture her looking something like the girl in Amelie.

We ran into Scott again in Minneapolis, and sat eating our Cinnamon Buns and discussing our various trips, coffees, and agendas. It was a short stop, though, and soon we were back in the air on an A330. It was a beautiful day in Minneapolis, so I nabbed a few shots of the lakes and downtown before saying goodbye for five days.

Manhattan rises to greet us
In fact, it was a beautiful day all along our corridor to New York, with the worst being scattered cloud in New Jersey. It gave the small jagged farms some character, however, and cleared up as we neared the coast and Manhattan rose from the horizon. Our approach path to LaGuardia took us up the east river over Queens and gave us a sweeping view of the city and the burroughs.

Even as we landed, the horizon was still comprised entirely of the Manhattan skyline, miles away and already spectacular. Our wheels touched the ground and it was time to find a cab into the city.

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