Camino de Santiago: Después (After, Yo)

Back in New York, Starting a Rock BandJust kidding! First of all, that's a line from Rent; secondly, bands are stupid; thirdly, I'm way too fucking hungover to think about loud music. Seriously - my hands are tingling. And I can't stop EATING. (NB: I was too hungover to finish, so I'm writing this two days... Continue Reading →

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Camino de Santiago: Día 27 (a.k.a The Last Day)

Details of the DayTrajectory: Pedrouzo à Santiago de Compostela Distance: 11.8 miles, or 18.8kilometers Camino: Completed Compostela: Begrudgingly Obtained The Final MorningDue to a freezing night in a giant, basically empty hostel, everyone struggled to get out of bed in the morning. Most albergues have a mandatory departure time of 8 am, which was probably... Continue Reading →

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Camino de Santiago: Día 26

Basic InfoTrajectory: Melide à Pedrouzo Distance: 21 miles, or 33.5 kilometers Bubonic Plague: Yes, I have it Dampness and GrossnessToday was the last full day, and I have two words for it: Wet and Itchy. My two new traveling companions and I made a tacit agreement to finish the walk together, and set out for... Continue Reading →

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Camino de Santiago: Día 25

Crucial StuffTrajectory: Gonzar à Melide Distance: 19.8 miles, and 31.7 kilometers Diarrheas: 0 Blood Blisters: 2 Curious Insect Bites: 15 Sunrise over Gonzar A Delightfully Stereotypical Day I left the albergue with a French Canadian guy I'd met the night before, and we started walking together. At first, I was hesitant to walk with someone.... Continue Reading →

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Camino de Santiago: Día 24

Detalles BrevesTrajectory: Sarria à Gonzar Distance: 18.7 miles, or 29.9 kilometers Detalles Más DetalladosThough we both stayed in Sarria, the guy I'd been hiking with and I opted for different lodgings, so spent the night in the municipal albergue of Sarria completely alone. I used the solitude to take full advantage of the empty bathroom,... Continue Reading →

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Camino de Santiago: Días 20-23

Note: The WiFi in the last few albergues has been contingent upon possession of a Spanish cell phone number, which I do not have. Hence, I have not had WiFi in forever. Hence squared, this all happened days ago. Also, shit has been happening, etcetera. But here we are now! The Anti-Productivity Walk/Write/Chat CorrolaryFour days... Continue Reading →

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Camino de Santiago: Días 18 & 19

Details of Day 18Trajectory: Hospital de Órbigo à Santa Catalina Distance: 16 miles, or 25.6 kilometers The first 11 miles of the day, from Hospital de Órbigo to Astorga, were finally off the highway! I entered into farmlands, and started to ascend for the first time in forever. Men Are Bad All Over I walked... Continue Reading →

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Camino de Santiago: Día 17

Today's DeetsTrajectory: León à Hospital de Órbigo Distance: 22 miles, or 35.2 kilometers Miles Parallel to or on Roads: All Effect on Morale: None A Day of Sun and SmilesMaybe it was having a hostel to myself last night, maybe it was the zero in León, but today's 22 miles of road and road path... Continue Reading →

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Camino de Santiago: Día 16

Detalles CrucialesTrajectory: Sahagún à León Distance Walked: 0 miles Time and Money Spent in and on Train: 43 minutes and €5.45 Distance of Path-Parallel-to-Highway Walking Saved: 55 kilometers, or 34.3 miles Silver Blazing in SpainThe Camino from Burgos to León, with small exceptions, is, in my opinion, bad. When I got to Sahagún, after a... Continue Reading →

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Camino de Santiago: Días 14 & 15

FourteenTrajectory: Boadillas del Camino to Carrión de los Condes Distance: 15 miles, or 24 kilometers Beauty Rating: 4/10 The first three miles, from Boadillas to Frómista, were quite pleasant. It was brisk but sunny, and the walk was on a flat path alongside a canal that caught the rising sun in its ripples. I got... Continue Reading →

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Camino de Santiago: Día 9

Trajectory: Nájera to Grañón Distance: 18 miles, or 28.8 kilometers Notebooks Burned: One Awkward Moments Lived: Infinite Normal StuffThe stage from Nájera to Grañón was easy and pleasant, with sun’s out, guns out weather. I ended up walking the second half with a guy from Spain who had done the Camino a couple of times... Continue Reading →

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Camino de Santiago: Día 13

Crucial InformationTrajectory: Hontanas to Boadillos del Camino Distance: 16.7 miles, or 26ish kilometers. This might be wrong; it might have been 17.6. I don't know. An amount was walked. Morning Stroll A cloudy morning stroll from Hontanas to Castrojeriz was soundtracked with a Happy Folk Spotify playlist and characterized yet again by a startling lack... Continue Reading →

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Camino de Santiago: Día 12

Trajectory: Burgos to Hontanas Distance: 19.7 miles or 31.5 kilometers People Seen: Zero The MesetaThe next few stages of the walk are on the Meseta, which is wide open farm lands with blades of grass in shockingly symmetrical striations and rocks that again look like moonscapes. In the guidebook I'm following, each stage has a... Continue Reading →

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Camino de Santiago: Día 10

Detalles del Día Trajectory: Grañón to Villafranca Distance: 16 miles, or 25.6 kilometers Climate: All of them Rainbows: Free with purchase (1 per walker) Note: These posts are all out of order due to the fact that WiFi only exists in weird places during this stretch of the Camino. I'm currently sitting on a bench... Continue Reading →

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Camino de Santiago: Día 11

But...9 and 10?How can we proceed with life sans knowing what happened on the 9th and 10th days of my trek? Tragique! Indeed, there are pitfalls of walking and writing! A daily post is easy when one is going 13 to 15 miles. But I've started to walk a bit more each day, partly because... Continue Reading →

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Camino de Santiago: Días 6, 7, y 8!

Mierda, Tengo Flojera!Isn’t hiking exhausting? Even when you have the grand epiphany that it’s actually just walking, which anyone with two functioning legs and some time on their hands can do, it makes one fatigued. Additionally, it makes one want to privilege consumption of food and sugary drinks over everything. Especially writing. Reading is a... Continue Reading →

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Camino de Santiago: Días 4 & 5

Crucial InfoTrajectory: Pamplona à Puente la Reina followed by Puente la Reina à Estella Distance: 45 kilometers, or about 28 miles, over the course of two days Weather: Fan-fucking-tactic. Mid 40s, sunny, blue sky/puffy cloud situation. Pounds of Gear Sent Home: 3.3 Ounces of Gear Abandoned: 8 (book) Café con Leche: Impossibly cheap Pilgriming Around... Continue Reading →

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Camino de Santiago: Día 3

Los DetallesTrajectory: Zubiri -------> Pamplona Distance: 13-ish miles a.k.a. 20.9 kilometers Cost of a Glass of Rioja: 1.80€ Gear Abandoned:Don Quixote de La Mancha The Day In Brief A snowy but warming morning led into a sunny afternoon. I started late, half because I was waiting to see if the snow slowed down and half... Continue Reading →

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Camino de Santiago: Día 2

Note: Le WiFi es muy lento, así que no habrá fotos en este blog. Trágico, pero así es. Deets Trajectory: Roncesvalles à Zubiri Distance: 21.9 kilometers / 13.6 miles Cheek Snow/Wind Burn Level: Magenta and Pain, which will also be the name of my zine when I grow up Famous Last Words "I'm never hiking... Continue Reading →

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Camino de Santiago: Día 1

The Deets Trajectory: Saint Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles Distance: Ambiguous. According to Guthooks, I'm at mile 15.3, but a) we're dealing in kilometers, b) there was a detour, and then a detour of the detour, and c) I don't actually care. I made it to Roncesvalles! Yay. Church hostel price: 8€ Time spent... Continue Reading →

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El Camino de Santiago: Día 0

Un FlashbackIn the summer of 2016, I completed the Tour de Mont Blanc, a 105-mile trek that takes you through France, Italy, and Switzerland as circumnavigate Mont Blanc. Before this trip, my backpacking experience consisted of two week-long guided Outward Bound courses; while I wasn't a complete novice, then, into solo backpacking this was indeed... Continue Reading →

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El Camino de Santiago: Gear

Packing for a Non-Camping TripAssembling my pack for this trip was both easier and harder than it would be for a regular long-distance hike. On the one hand, it seems like you can forgo most of the camping equipment. I'm not bringing a tent or a sleeping pad. Though I chose to bring my stove,... Continue Reading →

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The Future Is Now

Oh, Hey...It's Been A WhileApparently I started this blog in 2010? In a Starbucks? In Washington Heights? The day is vivid to me for multiple reasons. First of all, I was a month away from moving to Mexico, so it was one of those, like, transition periods when you're walking around the city "thinking about... Continue Reading →

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On Mediocrity 2 (Belated Post from Nights of Yore)

Here are some synonyms for mediocrity: Ordinary, average, middling, middle-of-the-road, uninspired, undistinguished, indifferent, unexceptional, unexciting, unremarkable, run-of-the-mill, pedestrian, prosaic, lackluster, forgettable, amateur, and, my personal favorite, amateurish. Not even good enough to be a full-on amateur! You got the -ish tagged on! A man who weighed 500 pounds, lost 200, and is able to complete... Continue Reading →

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On Mediocrity 1 (Belated Marathon)

Everyone knows that the New York City Marathon is, like, the major running event of the year. People pay thousands of dollars to stand, freezing, in Staten Island with hangover-esque jet lag in order to run their worst time in a race distance that is, with the proliferation of performance-enhancing drugs and ultramarathons, increasingly less... Continue Reading →

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Cruelty Analysis in the First Degree

  When I was a little girl, or at least a less old adult, I decided to start a blog. I just fact checked the exact dates of the blog beginning, and it was July of 2010. Assumedly, a birthday had just passed (the 24th) and I was feeling, as the kids say, a certain... Continue Reading →

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New Year, New You

Once upon a time, there was a year from hell. Some people made memes about it, some people chose to block it from their memory through excessive ingestion of substances and online television, and still other people honored it by creating this magical trailer. Whatever your coping mechanism, 2016, like food poisoning and shitty relationships, ran its... Continue Reading →

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GVN Update: Post-TMB

Since it would appear that the only place in the Alps I'm even remotely prolific - and remotely connected to the WiFi for more than three minutes at a time - is the Geneva International Airport, I should seize the moment and attempt to codify in 1,000 words or less the mountainous events of last... Continue Reading →

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Before I depart into the mountain wilderness, I want to briefly make a confession: I fell for a marketing ploy.  Faced with a 22-hour layover in Paris, and burdened with a 30 pounds of luggage and a decidedly unParisienne wardrobe, I decided to forgo a jaunt in the City of Lights for the comfort of... Continue Reading →

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GVN: An Airport Update

I am currently in the Geneva airport, waiting for my next form of transportation: A shuttle bus to Chamonix, Adventure Capital of Europe. Adventure? What does that mean? Well, when it's put into phrases like the declarative one above, it's a euphemism for "Outdoor Activities". Not the ones where you wear open-toed sandals and drink... Continue Reading →

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Certain birthdays have significance. 10, for example: Double Digits! Any elementary schooler knows that the difference between a schoolyard Sally and the Queen of the Concrete is that oh-so-essential bump into the next tens spot. But all being 10 really means you're that much closer to being 13. Bar and bat mitzvahs! Boobs! Pimples! Periods... Continue Reading →

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How It All Transpired: The Extended Version

  As anyone who has learned or taught a foreign language knows, idioms don’t translate. They are a bizarre facet of language that can expose as much about a culture as its cuisine or its religious beliefs. Even odder is the fact that there are expressions in our own languages that we may know by... Continue Reading →

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Beef Mother Fucking Jerky

A picture's worth a thousand words and, in this case, ninety three thousand calories. I have assembled below a photo essay of all the different beef jerky sections in the Travel Mart right outside the ironically named Goodland, Kansas, where, despite an afternoon high of 72° Fahrenheit, it is currently snowing. Loose beef jerky. Mainstream... Continue Reading →

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Oh, Captain! My Captain!

I should take a moment to mention the bus itself, the tragicomic Pequod in my quest for nationalism and a cheap ride. When we were about to board the bus at the Port Authority, our first driver delivered an ominous message: "When I saw this bus I thought they was playing an April Fool's joke... Continue Reading →

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Dorothy was Stupid

Kansas. Really? We've spent the last seven hours driving on the same flat godforsaken highway, by far the most boring stretch of land in the entire world. No hills, no trees, eight houses total. Just wind turbines, dry grass, and the occasional cow. Seriously, though - what the fuck do people do here? I don't... Continue Reading →

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Missour-really?

When I think of Missouri, I think of racist lunatics, murderous thugs, inbred meanies, and high-pitched voices. I can't explain why. It's just a feeling. I was surprised, then, to take three pictures in the state of Missouri that were very nice. Here they are. Sunrise over the St. Louis Amtrak/Greyhound station, taken through stained... Continue Reading →

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Where is the Man in the Gabardine Suit?

The sunset in Pittsburgh last night was beautiful, lighting up the old steel city and making the fact that someone was clipping their nails in the bus a little more tolerable. Indeed, the latter part of the day, from Pennsylvania into Ohio, was a casual cruise, almost pleasant. Between Can't Remember and Columbus, I sat... Continue Reading →

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Yelp Me! I’m on a Bus!

As everyone knows, Yelp and other review sites spew lies created by irate individuals after a miserable experience probably due, in part, to their incomprehension of rules or refusal to listen to instructions. However, on Tuesday night, I had utterly convinced myself that I'd be murdered before Topeka, and covered in semen shortly thereafter. To... Continue Reading →

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Country Roads, Take Me…Far

"Just so you know, sir, these are Beiber nuts. From the Beiber animal. I just want you to know in case you have an allergy or something." The Muffin Man, who didn't seem to speak English, nodded slightly, and squinted. I, who do speak English but still didn't understand, also nodded and squinted. "That'll be... Continue Reading →

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The Final Countdown: Marathon Special

Ladies and Gentlemen, the countdown has begun! The TCS New York City Marathon, a.k.a. the reason I have forsaken all friends and fun for a large part of the summer and now fall, is officially one month from today. I ran a 20-mile run last week, which means that I’ll probably finish the race. It’s... Continue Reading →

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I Need Your Yelp Like I Need A Hole In The Head

Last week, my coworkers were discussing a recent review that had been posted on Yelp. They had been navigating the site for a while, and still couldn’t find the offending entry. “Ask Lily,” said one, “she’s pretty much the mayor of Yelp.” I admit it: My obsession with reading the online reviews of my place... Continue Reading →

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It’s Not A Sprint: Part Two

But fine. You’ve accepted the facts, you know it's going to be hard, you’ve run your 5ks and 10ks, and maybe even a half or two. You take a break from training, smoke a few cigarettes, stay out later than you should, and then there you are: 20 weeks away from the ultimate adult extracurricular activity, The... Continue Reading →

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It’s Not A Sprint: Part One

I mentioned in my post about attending graduation that the older we get, the fewer Big Life Events we have to look forward to. As we run out of milestones, or at least drift farther away from them, we need to establish new goals to punctuate our directionless floating in the morass known as life. Enter... Continue Reading →

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A Day Off

Days off in the summer are tricky, especially when you work in a restaurant. I can swear on all your holy spirits and blood relatives that I'll never be given a weekend off, and that my workless Wednesdays will either be rain-soaked and dismal, or coincide with the one afternoon I have to wait for the cable guy to show up ("between... Continue Reading →

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On Graduating

When I first thought about attending the commencement ceremony, my instinct was: "Why the fuck would I do that?" When I asked my friends, the general consensus was: "I mean, it's not like it's Columbia...it's an MFA from CCNY. Like, WTF." It's common knowledge that getting an MFA at City College is as hard as hailing a gypsy... Continue Reading →

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If Olives Were Real: On Growing Up Dreamless

When I was younger, I had an unnatural interest in pimento-stuffed olives, the plump green ones stuffed with pickled red peppers generally used as a garnish for martinis or tacky antipasto plates on which cubes of cheddar cheese and Genoa salami are nestled in clumps of shredded iceberg lettuce and have American flag-wrapped toothpicks flying high. I could conjure up a reason... Continue Reading →

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A Savage End: Love Story

Last September, while taking a break from simpering panels about how to use Twitter to become a famous writer at the Slice Literary Conference, I bought a copy of Los Detectives Salvajes, by Roberto Bolaño. It was on display in the Spanish section in Court Street Books, and I was feeling not only intellectual but inspired to support local bookstores. I leafed... Continue Reading →

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A Few Rules in a Rule-Less Realm

Don’t be a douche: Hold the damn door, get up for people on the subway, if you bump into someone, apologize, tip well, and for the love of god, if someone talks to you, answer them, even if you hate them, because nothing is more infuriating or depressing that not being acknowledged. That said, if... Continue Reading →

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Cawfee Talk

At the end of December, the NYT website posted a test about dialect. By answering 25 questions based on how you pronounce or refer to certain words, the test analyzes your "personal dialect map"; in other words, show you where on the map of the US your linguistic tendencies tend to situate you. After spending... Continue Reading →

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