What do you get when you gather a small contingent of Tuesday and Thursday night writers, pile them into three vehicles, and send them off to New Hope, Pennsylvania?
Well, that depends which writers you decide to follow.
Jim and Paul’s adventure in Car 1 began with nearly getting a parking ticket before ever leaving New Jersey. While Jim was rendezvousing with the rest of the writers, Paul waited behind in the passenger seat of the car . . . until an angry street sweeper showed up. Paul didn’t budge until the parking authority arrived, ticket in hand. Then, he hurried through a one-man Chinese fire drill and drove away. (To where we still do not know.) Suffice to say he eventually returned—with the car—and he and Jim eventually led the caravan off to Pennsylvania.
In Car 2—decidedly the best car—Shafiq, Angelica, Allison and Ryan set off on their trip by following Jim’s vehicle. Their plan to follow him all the way to New Hope almost derailed when they accidentally passed Jim’s car on the highway, but thankfully, with a bit of backseat collaboration, they made it back on track and arrived in New Hope in one piece.
The last car, Car 3, contained Rachel, Amanda, Meg, and Meg’s cane. Due to some unexpected delays involving Amanda’s sleep schedule and Meg’s sprained ankle, Car 3 was late from the outset. So it was no surprise when they were the last writers to arrive at the Starbucks in New Hope.
Fortunately, the rest of the day was considerably less eventful—and more enjoyable—for all of the writers. After a stroll down Main Street, the group gathered at Bitter Bob’s BBQ & Comfort Food for a late but filling brunch. The group made sure that their JC Writers’ presence was known, leaving “JC Writers” graffiti all over the tables—okay, the tables were covered in brown paper and the graffiti was rendered in crayon, but still—and left with their bellies full of pulled pork, barbequed chicken, collard greens, and fried macaroni and cheese.
After lunch, the group split up. Shafiq, Angelica, Meg, and Amanda passed some time feeding ducks on the shore of the Delaware River. Then, they took a relaxing boat ride down the river, drinking in the sights of tree-lined shores and sounds of . . . silence!
Paul headed off alone, to investigate the history of the area. He later met up—pamphlets in hand—with Rachel, Jim, Allison, and Ryan, who were still lazily wandering from store to store, inspecting knickknacks and sniffing soaps. Together, the group visited a rare book shop, a 5 and Dime (where you would have been hard pressed to find anything costing remotely close to $5.10), a soap shop ironically named the Soap Opera, and an antique store that smelled like every grandparents’ house that has ever existed. (Side note: you know you are old when your favorite childhood toys show up on the shelves of an antique store.)
The day concluded with a brief meeting back at the Starbucks, to compare notes on the day and items purchased. Then everyone returned to their respective cars and started the drive back to Jersey City.