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Bartleby the Scrivener vegan27
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the last two months
I don't know how I failed to update LJ in one and a half months. Now I feel compelled to update what happened in that time, because life events don't officially happen until they're posted on the internet.

In the beginning of October Sarah and I took a road trip to New York. Like all of our trips, this one centered on food, with our first stop being a pizza place in State College, Pennsylvania that offered vegan pizza and featured a set of condiments chained to the wall so that they wouldn't be stolen by drunk college students.

After checking into our Airbnb space in Queens (without meeting the host, who just left a key for us), we hung out with lizbaillie, who took us to Chinatown. There we ate at a vegan dim-sum restaurant. It was so good that it would have warranted a Facebook post that simply stated, "Dumplings!" I had never been to Chinatown before and I really loved its narrow, intimate streets.

That night at the Airbnb space, after brushing our teeth in the bathroom, the hosts boyfriend came in from the back door wearing nothing but a white towel. I'm glad he was in good shape, but it was a little awkward, since we still had not met the host himself and this was our first interaction with anyone in the apartment. The next morning after Sarah showered and was leaving the bathroom, she finally did meet our host, who was just hanging out in the living room, stretching his calves, *also* wearing nothing but a white towel. That was the only other time we saw anyone there.

The next morning we drove down with Liz to Brooklyn for vegan donuts!

Later we hung out with vet-school-era friends of Sarah's at a Korean vegan restaurant, then did touristy stuff at MOMA, Central Park, and Rockefeller Center, followed by dinner at Red Bamboo.

The next morning we had breakfast at a vegan diner before driving up to Ithaca and Watkins Glen.

The pedestrian mall in Ithaca was all torn up for repairs, but we still got to experience that beautiful city in other ways. I tried to make believe that it would be possible for me to move there some day.

We spent the night at a vegan, cat-themed bed and breakfast and visited Farm Sanctuary the following morning.

Afterward we drove up to Buffalo. One of the main attractions was the Buffalo City Hall, an Art Deco masterpiece. We just sort of walked in and looked around. We didn't have to go through metal detectors like in Detroit. In the elevator, we met city councilman Joseph Golombek, who happily gave us directions to the observation deck.

That evening we had dinner with my friend Carrie and her husband. We slept at another Airbnb space in a handsome Arts and Crafts bungalow, but after arriving we found a list of rules indicating that the house was not considered a shared space, and that only guests who stay for three days or more may use the kitchen. Since then, I've made a point to tell *my* Airbnb guests that they are welcome to use my *entire* house.

The next morning we had breakfast at Amy's Place, a casual, greasy diner that happened to have an impressive number of vegan options, including French toast.

On the drive back home we stopped in Cleveland to eat at The Flaming Ice Cube. It was so tiny that you have to walk into the kitchen to get to the only restroom. But the food was perfect, and my seat had a view of Cleveland's Civil War monument, which to be honest, is actually a little better than Detroit's. Actually, all of downtown Cleveland that we saw was so surprisingly nice that I felt embarrassed. I thought Cleveland was only just barely better than us, but it seems to be much, much bigger and shinier than Detroit. Fuckers.

* * * * *

Much of my free time since that trip consisted of showing around my long-term Airbnb guest Giuila from Milan. She is an architecture student working on her masters thesis on Detroit. We've driven *many* miles through the city and I've gotten to see some things I may not have seen if I wasn't trying to entertain a guest.

Inside the Packard Plant, of course.

At Hamtramck Disney Land

She showed me the correct (i.e., non-microwave-involved) way to prepare pasta, and I introduced her to ethnic foods not easily available in Milan. She got a little freaked out at the Redford Theatre (where we saw both Psycho and The Shining) when everyone stood for the National Anthem, but she was relieved when I explained that not all movie theaters do that. But then she freaked out even worse when I told her about the Pledge of Allegiance and its compulsory nature in public schools.

On October 20th, when Sarah, Giulia and I went to Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum, Sarah and I were "married" by the AutoWed.

On Devil's Night, the three of us went to Orchestra Hall with Joe and Matt. The DSO played selections of music by Danny Elfman from Tim Burton's films. Sarah and I took the opportunity to dress up as Barbara and Adam Maitland from Beetlejuice. Giulia came with us and wore a Mrs. Lovett (from Sweeney Todd) costume that Sarah had from a previous year.

On Halloween the three of us went with Abe to a party at St. Cece's Pub. Giulia and I reused our costumes from the night before, but Sarah was a 1940s cigarette girl.

I do not know who the frog person was.

While Giulia and I shared this house, we got into the habit of eating late dinners that consisted of pasta and red wine. Sarah had had me try different wines before, but it was just recently that my body started ignoring the alcohol/chemical taste of red wine. I decided that this meant that I should start drinking a lot of alcohol for some reason. Getting to the point, this led to my first--AND LAST!!--hangover, but that's a friends-only post for another time. Anyway, I introduced Giulia to another American/Detroit tradition: using sick hours from your job to watch The Simpsons in the middle of the day and eating plain pasta on your couch while you recover from your hangover.

The good thing about the hangover day was that I received a raise at work that was retroactive to July, and I used that money to pay off the last bit that I owed on my Bumble Bee House credit card. Now my only debt is the $34,961.27 that I owe on the house itself.

I took last Friday off to drive Giulia to Ann Arbor, where she gave a preliminary presentation of her thesis to the professor at Taubman College, who was her local contact.

That night we celebrated her success--and the end of her last full day in Detroit--with Sarah and Abe. By which I mean we were all lame and tired after a late dinner at Honest John's and went to bed around midnight. We had much more energy the next day, and we went to brunch at Brooklyn Street Local, across the street from me.

Sarah spent the night, and Abe stayed in the unoccupied guest room. I'd like to believe that the four of us hanging out that Saturday would be what having roommates in this house would be like. Of course, I know that permanent roommate situations are never that fun and carefree in reality.

I somehow used having a two-month Airbnb guest as an excuse to not work on my house. I worked overtime on the staircase, which was basically completed two months ago, but now that my guest is back in Italy, I think it's time to get to work on a new project. The trim in the TV room should be next. Also, I have to work on a genealogy project for a friend of a friend that has to be finished in four months, which will go by quickly. At least it rained today, which was my excuse to not rake leaves. Back to reality...

I'm glad you guys had such a good trip and that you enjoyed the dim sum and Chinatown (I had a feeling you might). Buffalo City Hall looks cool, very Detroit-ey (no wonder you like it, haha).

This post is making me hungry!

All of Buffalo is definitely super-Detroity--a shrinking rustbelt city with a ton of Art Deco architecture from its long-gone wealthy past, and a downtown that is empty on Sunday mornings.

I was skeptical of an all-dim-sum restaurant, but I was sold! I still don't know why you and Sarah didn't like the greasy dumplings! Although I didn't like the weird clear ones that much.