nyc and the world trade center

Day 40: New York City with Ilse; Philadelphia with the Sugdens

April 14, 2000

12:01P – Late to bed, late to rise. Missed a meeting i planned on participating in. The Gorilla really worked me over last night. they had some "almost-out-of-date" deli slices in the fridge, so i honored myself with a birthday turkey & ham sammich at the Steggles

Happy Birthday Smiggs.

All alone in an apartment in Manhattan. Spent the afternoon reading the latest New Yorker. Cleaned up and loaded the SmartBeetle to tool around Manhattan.

Driving up and down these avenues is exhilarating. Yellow cabs, big trucks, small trucks, limos, honking, beeping, swerving in and out of lanes, more yellow cabs.

4:01P - Nearing the Holland Tunnel entrance, traffic is split by a row of orange cones. the herd is so tightly packed, our leftmost row of vehicles is crushing every cone under our wheels. The need to gather physical objects from the trip overcomes me and the next thing i know, an bright cone is being shoved into the now almost empty vest compartment inside the SmartBeetle. A couple of Italian-American's in a Lincoln wearing silver coated Foster Grants honk - "Those are ten bucks man!" This mixed in with that small surge of energy following the theft of public property has me startled. Will they call the cops? Are they teasing me?

4:40P - Finally  i'm coal miner deep in the Holland Tunnel and heading to Jersey City to visit Ilse at her and Don's new place. I pictured Jersey City as another Hoboken - 8 story apartment complexes across the river from Manhattan. But to my surprise, it lies in the shadow of the city. The World Trade Center towers just to the left of their front door.

world trade center from the smartbeetle in april 2000

ilse sigmund in her old condoThe buildings are small brownstones that are twins to those in Boston's South End. Cozy. It looks as if with a running start and a long enough pole, one could simply vault themselves over the Hudson to work in the morning.


vickeryhill first remote office in jersey city


ilse and lady liberty6:20P - The desire to return home to Vermont with Don & Ilse tonight is wrenching.

I stop for a bundle of photo's at Liberty State Park. SmartBeetle and Lady Liberty. Too bad the ferry doesn't accept vehicles.

the twin towers of the world trade center and the smartbeetle

7:40P - On the mobile phone, Chris' assistant Loretta asks if i am the 'Butcher' who's driving the car around the country. Yep. Laughing (with me? at me?), she says "so, you guys are going to Philadelphia tonight for dinner huh?" Excellent - my man Sugden already has made the evening's entertainment plans and i get to hit another city that i would otherwise have never included in the trip.

7:51P - drive south - sunset- gas in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. The guy pumps my gas with a smile and we talk about web pages and eCommerce a bit.

chris sugden and steve butcher with the smartbeetle8:01P - Arrived in Belle Meade at the Sugden's and we were off to meet Deb's sister and her husband (Susan and Steve Hainesbach) for the drive to Philadelphia and the Continental - a retrofitted 80 year old diner that is now a converted Tapa's and Martini bar. A few Chocolate Martini's and spoonfuls of Wasabi Mashed Potatoes really hit the spot.


Deb & Susan headed home to NJ and we went over to Delilah's & Busters - i proceeded to dance circles around Chris and Steve in many $20 games of 8 ball.

in bed by 3:15A - Birthday over. i grows up and i grows up

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While i think birthdays are an imaginary representation of age [a year is defined as how long our planet takes to travel 360 degrees around our sun] and i dont really get that excited for them, i do seem to reflect on these anniversaries : what have i accomplished, who is important in my life, can i make the world better than i found it when i woke up?

Next year i have a bet coming due - i wonder if we will use my 1999 or 2000 1040 to settle it.

Where will i be and who will i spend time with on my 30th birthday?

ahhhh, life...always a few answers with a truckload of follow-up questions!