The mountains are still there -- 01/13/10

As I mentioned yesterday, on Saturday I had driven over to the mid-Hudson Valley area in New York State to attend a birthday party for my cousin Carol and also to visit my brother.

I really enjoy living in Rhode Island (despite its totally disfunctional government). I enjoy the beaches, the ocean views, the ease of travel to places like Block Island, the many good restaurants, the abundance of sea food, the sense of history, the milder winters here along the coast (compared with upstate New York, not California), the interesting and quirky inhabitants... but whenever I go over to visit my brother and I drive up the New York State Thruway -- just a few miles before the Kingston exit -- I come around a curve and there before me I see the Catskills.

And I remember how beautiful they are.

I still I prefer Rhode Island as a place to live and, although pound for pound the Rhode Island government may be the most incompetent and corrupt in the country (yes, I know, Louisiana and Illinois also seem to want to claim that title), the collection of political hacks in Albany have a much larger population to loot, so there's really not much to be said in their favor either.

Charlie had laparoscopic surgery on his spine today. A couple of disks were pinching the nerves for his right leg and this is supposed to correct that problem. (The procedure was complete and he was in recovery area the last I heard.)

He is thinking about which bike ride to do as a juvenile diabetis fund-raiser this year (the Vermont 100-miler he and Chad did last year or the 105 mile Death Valley ride they usually do).

His spinal specialist has told him he should be able to ride bikes after recovery from surgery, but he has also told him that his running days are over.

On my way home on Sunday morning (N.Y. Thruway to I-84, cross the Hudson, continue on I-84 to I-691 to Middletown, CT, then route 9 down to I-95 and I-95 to Rhode Island) I couldn't resist getting off the Thruway at the New Paltz exit. I've not been in New Paltz in many year. I got my B.A. from SUNY/New Paltz and lived there for a couple of years after graduation (while working as a teacher and also doing graduate study). I couldn't find the apartment building where I lived from 1966 to 1968 -- that area (off of Huguenot St.) did not look quite the same via Google's satellite view. When I got down to that part of town it seemed to me as if the apartment complex had been replaced by condos.

However, when I had come down Main Street I had discovered that P&G's was still there. That's amazing longevity. I don't think I've been inside the place since sometime in 1967, but I consumed quite a few beers in there from '63 thru '66. During the 65-66 academic year (most of which I spent as a grad. student) I was living in a house several miles out of town and my housemates and I would sometimes drive into New Paltz on the night that Lost in Space was on (whatever night of the week that was has been lost in the mists of memory) and drink a couple of cold brews while watching the adventures of the Robinson family, Dr. Smith, and the robot. ("Danger, Will Robinson!")

So, for any former students at SUNY/New Paltz, never fear, P& G's is still there...

And I think I'll close with a shot of the Shawangunk Ridge taken from the New Paltz campus. (Hi Kate & Jim!)

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