Back 2 school

Unbeknownst to most of my friends, I snuck back into Cambridge undetected last Friday night. Of course most of the sneaking happened in the last few minutes before getting off the Mass Pike, while the previous 15 hours was spent on the road. Given that it was Labor Day Weekend eve, I decided to avoid I-95, the tried and trusted East coast connector (Richmond, VA, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Newark, New York City, Providence and Boston) in favor of a less populated but slightly longer I-81 (switching over to I-84 to avoid ALL major cities). The trip was just over my threshold for driving in one day, so I decided to stay in Knoxville Thursday night and make the rest of the trek on Friday.

my route home
I-81: The Appalachian trail

Having grown up in California, I’m a professional long-distance driver. I don’t have any problem driving alone for 12 or 15 hours straight with only required stops for gas, drive-thrus and rest stops. I have a number of patent-pending techniques for passing the time, such as the infamous "breath-holding practice," where I repeatedly time myself to see how long I can go on one breath. Sure, it might be dangerous, but it makes the trip fly by! And I broke my own record this trip with a time of 1:56.

So, suffice to say I’m back in Cambridge, and I do miss the ATL quite a bit. Even though it’s not a coastal city (not even the third coast), I think it’s one of the sweetest cities in America to live in. Based on my experience I have observed the following inequality:

NYC > Atlanta ~ Chicago ~ S.F. >> Boston

Sorry Boston!

11 thoughts on “Back 2 school

  1. Camero!

    Jonah and I miss you…even though we´ve been having non-stop fun in Paris last week and now in Austria for a week…you´ll have to come down not too long after we get back to the #1 city in the US…

    Also, a fun trick to try while driving long distances to make time pass is to see how long you can close your eyes! No joke, I know it seems crazy and ridiculous but it´s not so dangerous really…you begin to realize you don´t *always* need your eyes open while driving…


  2. Here’s one I tried on 80-90 throught Ohio, the straightest highway through the flatest (and most boring) land imagineable: See how long you can drive straight without touching the stearing wheel. A great test of your car’s alighnment.


  3. Cameron:
    You can obviously take more time in the car seat than I can. When I was a student at U-Va. I usually drove from Atlanta to Charlotte, then worked my way to I-81 by taking I-77 north across the mountains. [That included a great stretch where you drive about seven miles up a 10-15 percent grade right after you cross the border into Virginia.] For what it’s worth, that probably would have saved you a couple hundred miles.

  4. As a native Chicagoan, I object to the placement of Chicago after Atlanta and NYC. If it weren’t for the weather, Chicago would be the best city in America. You’ve got it all wrong!

  5. Sorry, I wasn’t very clear. ~ means roughly equivalent. I wouldn’t mind living in either Chicago, Atlanta or S.F., and that decision would be pretty difficult to make. Choosing between any of those cities and Boston though wouldn’t require much thought at all.

  6. Cameron!!

    I don’t like you wavering on this issue! Don’t feel bad about New York City being #1…I think we’ll be seeing you tomorrow…heard it through the Nick Denton grapevine…


  7. I-81’s not that bad if the traffic’s not heavy, because the Shenandoah Valley is beautiful and to be admired. But if there’s traffic, it’s kinda prudent to keep your eyes on the road. I enjoy riding 81 with a friend, because they can go, “Wow, that’s AWESOME!” and I know to look off the road.

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