Downtown Montreal from Mount Royal's belvedere.
It's snowing here in the Wet Mountains, a wet, soaking snow that is melting in. This would be a good "desk day," especially as I am only partway through sorting out everything on my desk--the ten days' worth of mail, the receipts and notes, etc. from the conference, the new books for reading and/or review.
One review must be completed today, or I will hate myself.
But I am fidgety. M. and I spent parts of six days on trains, four days in Montreal, one day in Chicago, an afternoon in Albany, and an evening in Schenectady. It was wearing.
(Note: we rode six different Amtrak trains, and all were on time. Someone is doing something right. If you have a layover at Schenectady, refuel at Katie O'Byrne's, hang out on Jay Street.)
On the Adirondack, traveling through upstate New York along Lake Champlain, I would see some little dirt road winding off into the swampy woods, and I wanted to be off the train and walking along it with one of the dogs.
The birds are in hiding too. All that I have seen this morning are one robin and one Steller's jay--a pity, since it is Day 1 of one of our Project Feeder Watch counts. (We are not the only ones happy that PFW has started up again.) Yesterday we saw nine American goldfinches at once.
Other miscellaneous travel observations from the big world:
Traveling east from Colorado, I notice black.
A century ago, two factors favored black clothing in the city:
- Lots of coal soot in the air
- A lack of washing machines
Now it is just about attitude. I am refined and/or serious, don't mess with me. Not asceticism. Urban grime might be an issue, but it cannot be the issue.
In Montreal, where sports team-themed clothing was not as common downtown as in Chicago (although it exists), black seemed almost mandatory.
I probably stood out for wearing one of about four khaki trench coats that I spotted.
Downtown Chicago is noisier than Montreal. For one thing, it has the elevated trains. For another, there always seems to be large construction projects underway, whereas I saw none in Montreal, just street repairs.
People walk faster in Chicago too. But my candidate for a fast-walking city, believe it or not, is Dublin, based on earlier visits there.