What a day! What a country! It started with me waking up at 5am getting packed and going with my host Kim to THE BEST bagel place in ....ALL THE WORLD!!!! Bagels and Bialys and breadsticks baked to absolute perfection! in Evanston Illinois. And the owner had a real attitude. what a combination!! Listen I am a native New Yorker and I used to drive a cab in NY City so I know!!! This place has it. what a start to the day. if interested comment me and I'll get the name of the place.
I said goodbye to my hosts and their little kids (who are completely off the wall and darling) and split. 5 hours through Indiana and Ohio. Big beautiful farmland accompanied me on the freeway. I love the barns and the farmland. Lots of driving today- 400 some odd miles. Traffic moving as I expected on a Saturday free and clear, but wait, right in the middle of Indiana in the middle of nowhere a humongous traffic jam! About 15 mins of stop and go only to witness the wreckage of a terrible traffic accident. An SUV and an RV. It looked bad, I only hope no one was seriously injured. I drive always with great care, these kinds of things are reminders-don't drive too fast and PAY ATTENTION ALWAYS, and never get angry, (saw a beautiful sculpture of Ghandi in Evanston, Kim reminded me of his quote, 'An eye for eye will make the world go blind." That is too true on the roadways.
Anyway, I decided to go a little ‘off route’ and go to Cleveland, Ohio instead of pushing on to Pennsylvania, which was my plan. I’ve never been to Cleveland and have a curiousity about the place because of two art works. That is the comic book art of Harvey Pekar-American Splendor magazine and the film by Jim Jarmusch, Stranger Than Paradise. So I detoured it to Cleveland, I didn’t know where I was going to stay and it was getting late so I had to scramble. Thought though I’d use the opportunity of ‘scrambling’ for my benefit and did a little sightseeing and talking to people. Very interesting looking city, bridges and ball parks downtown a big stunning sculpture downtown with soldiers in the main plaza. Nice little theatre district, lots of restaurants, old style Mid western city. Sort of fell in love with it. It was a beautiful day today and the sculptures and bridges and the Lake were stunning. I get a good vibe from this town. Found a place recommended to me from a young woman working at the local Starbucks downtown. She recommended I go into the Lakewood district. Its a little safer and less expensive than a downtown hotel that also has no parking. Plus there are lots of restaurants and places to go. The TravelLodge is not exactly deluxe accomodations but hey, I want to keep on budget. Its fine, quiet and a little dark but that’s Cleveland right. The houses here are amazing! Old brick and turn of the century houses, big and beautiful, mile after mile of them. I’ve never seen anything like it. Huge apartment buildings all in tasteful style. Big brick structures. I can’t imagine the views offered by those apartments of Lake Erie. It must be a magnificent place to live. Went into a restaurant and decided to sit down and have a non alcoholic beer as I don't like to drink when I'm driving a new Prius. Got into a conversation with some folks and it was fun, they seemed quite happy in Cleveland. and they recommended a restaurant to me a Chinese place. Pearls. Delicious food and as my desire, I like to sit at the bar and eat when I’m alone. I got into a little conversation from a real friendly bartender, Marcia who has a son my age. Great town. I’d like to spend some more time here, there are lots of discoveries here I am sure. I'll get up early tomorrow and get out of this hotel and take some video of these houses and the shore and bridges.
Tomorrow I am hoping to reach my final destination of this first part of my double cross country adventure, Cold Spring, NY. 405 miles to go and I’m home!