Fall… For Obama

28 10 2008

This weekend I took a little excursion to Allentown, PA to do my part in getting a certain amazing man elected president. A friend of a friend has been organizing trips every Saturday for the past month and finally I had a free Saturday and was able to tag along.

The drive itself can only be described as stunning. The thing I love about east coast highways is that they are always so tree-lined and, well, pretty. Save for stretches of 101 along the coast and a little thing called the Pacific Coast Highway, California highways are, in general, nothing more than retaining walls and the occasional bush. But here on the east coast they’ve got trees, and lots of ’em. And this time of year, trees only mean on thing: COLOR. Tons of it, beautiful, rich golden yellows and burnt oranges, just short of technicolor.

A little before arrival we made an obligatory stop at a Cracker Barrel. I didn’t realize the southern staple came as far north as New Jersey, but I was happy to have my first CB experience. The general store up front was thrillingly kitschy and I’d almost go back just to wander around there. The food was grand, real biscuits and thick grits. Everything a breakfast should be (including the “I ate too much” stomachache after the fact).

And then it was off to knock on doors. Our first route was a neighborhood where the houses were spread out and set back on massive plots, all surrounded by more of those amazing trees. The ground was soggy and covered with leaves, which were really begging me to jump right in (though given the wetness, I had to refrain).  And every house had better Halloween decorations than the next. I’m talking scarecrows, and mummies that make noise, and one house that even had caution tape over the front, making it look even more like a haunted house than it already did.

But here is the best part of all. Despite the monsoon that breezed in and soaked us, our little car managed to hit 120 doors on Saturday. Though some folks chased us away and many were not home, a very exciting number were pro-Obama, and many even got excited when they saw me at the door with my Community Organizers for Obama button (thanks Alex!). And the final numbers for the day? The dedicated folks of Allentown hit more than 2,000 doors on Saturday. In a monsoon no less.

It was not a little exhilarating to have contributed my small part to what promises to be one of the most important and historic elections of our country’s history, and now I’m jonesing for other ways to be involved and my excitement is building. New York is a buzz of excitement as the campaigns are winding down and it’s looking more and more like change is on the horizon. And me, well, I’ve officially fallen.





Distractions

3 04 2008

I’m guilty this week of blog neglect. What have I been doing that’s so important it’s kept me from blogging? Many things, actually. (Cue list…)

  • Freelancing. Yes, freelancing! I’m editing Barcelona hot spot reviews for a soon-to-be-launched website (which for now must remain nameless).
  • Spending time offManhattan. That slick transition really just means more freelancing. offManhattan is a great (green) site that promotes travel and exploration with an eco-friendly bent. My first piece is a review of the Brooklyn restaurant Relish and I’m looking forward to visiting and writing about more places and events in the Tri-State area.
  • Reading several books at once. I’m currently into Their Eyes Were Watching God, Eimi (a recently re-published and formerly out of print E.E. Cummings prose work — woohoo!), and I’m soon to be starting up (again) my 2-women book group on the discussion of Anna Karenina. Is it weird that with all these going on I have a strong urge to dive into Franny and Zooey for the thousandth time?
  • Drinking tea. My new “office” is just five minutes from home. It’s called Gramstand and it’s fabulous. The upstairs is warm and airy with a handful of small tables, but downstairs the basement is converted into a little lounge/office, complete with a few couches, one family table, and several small tables for working or socializing. I’ve been going there several times a week and camping out for the entire day. It’s a good way to work and get out of the house. And their many varietals of tea are all delicious and good for the soul (though my personal fave is the rich, delicious Vanilla Teaccino, or as I like to call it, Heaven in a Cup).
  • Eating. Lent is over and I can have sweets again, but I have yet to order alfajores. My consolation prize was a slice of peanut butter pie at Old Devil Moon. There aren’t words to describe the amazingness of this pie: creamy, peanuty, chocolaty, with a gram cracker crust. I wanted to lick the plate.
  • More reading. On top of all the books I’ve been reading, I’ve been catching up on my magazines too. Currently I’m spending a lot of time sifting through the New York Times Spring Travel Magazine that’s recently come out. I looked at one article and can’t stop looking. I suppose I can write it off as research though…