Hellooooo, Pougkeepsie!

Today I traveled from San Antonio, TX to Albany, NY, and thence to Poughkeepsie. Most of the travelling was done on airplanes, so I got a *lot* of uninterrupted knitting time in. Aaahhhhh.

Most of the day isn’t really worth describing: I sat in a plane and I knitted. There were a few harrowing moments with dropped stitches and there were a lot of cable mis-crosses that went uncorrected, but for the most part I sat in an aluminum cylinder for about six hours and knit.

Oh, I did discover that there’s a type of airline stewardess who really grooves on kilts. Good to know.

But there was a bit at the end of the day worth mentioning: dinner. I got to my hotel after getting a little bit lost in Poughkeepsie. I checked in, put my stuff up, and went out to find dinner. I was really in the mood for seafood and I went looking for a local place to try out.

I rapidly discovered that the stretch of Route 9 I’m staying on is very . . . franchised. I recognized most of the neon signs I saw. After not seeing a local place for about four miles, I saw a Red Lobster sign and I thought “might as well.” I pulled into the parking lot and started to kill the engine, then thought better of it.

I’m on vacation, dammit. I’m here (in part) to escape the thoroughly standardized world I live in every day. I didn’t come all this way to eat at a damned Red Lobster. That’s not to say I don’t like the food there – I do. It’s just that I can walk into any Red Lobster in the United States and get the *exact* same dinner. That’s the whole point of franchises – you’re guaranteed a standard experience no matter which one you walk into. Have you ever found a McDonald’s that didn’t have great crispy fries?

I pulled out of the parking lot and headed back to the part of town I got lost in earlier. There was some kind of accident(s) in the middle of town near the FDR bridge which slowed me down a lot. But finally I meandered my way into town and found Spanky’s.

Spanky’s has soul food and New Orleans-style cuisine. It’s not *nearly* spicy enough, but I guess yankees can’t handle gustatory heat. (Yes, that’s a taunt. Nyaaah.) I ordered the Cioppino with linguini. The proprietor, Jeff, was really nice.

It was not the best Cioppino I’ve ever had. In fact, I bet the quality of the stew varies a lot depending on the seasonality of the ingredients and who’s in the kitchen. But that was exactly the point. I was far more nourished by a so-so dish of seafood stew from a distinctive local joint than from an exactly-what-I-expected plate of seafood at a restaurant whose floorplan I already know without having ever set foot inside the building.

Ahhh, vacation.

No Responses to “Hellooooo, Pougkeepsie!”

  1. janna Says:

    But the question is — are you wearing a matching pair of kilt hose? (Oh – and I”m a yankee and LOVE spicy food — I order spicy 7 at Thai Taste…..)

  2. Anna Bannana Says:

    Somehow it’s just killing me that you’re in NY rather than TX and I still can’t accidentally run into you in person! *lol* I get to spend Saturday being cold, wearing civil war era-type clothes, and riding around in circles on a wagon. Woot!

    Have a great time at Rhinebeck – fondle a sheep for all of us who can’t join you!

  3. Lolajl Says:

    Check with the hotel staff and look in your room phone book. There are quite a few sit-dow restaurants and pubs – you’re more likely to find excellent food there. May be due to Culinary Institute of America being located in the area. We ate at two different restaurants/pubs and the food at both were excellent. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the names.

    We aren’t going there this year, of course, but maybe next year if money flow is better.

  4. Stephieface Says:

    You don’t have to fondle a sheep for me, I’ll be okay without. But its killing me that you are in a thousand mile radius of Pennsylvania and I don’t get to see you… I too will be too busy wearing period clothing. *shakes fist* And still I get no kilts… life is SO unfair.

  5. Donna Says:

    What woman doesn’t ‘groove’ on kilts? And she saw you KIP. In your kilt. Turning green with envy.

    Glad to hear from you – a day-by-day report. Cool!

  6. MMario Says:

    I’ll wave as I drive by Friday night – I’ll be starting out a couple hundred miles west of you and ending up a couple hundred miles east of you – [and oddly enough I’ll be spending the weekend wearing clothing of another time period as well]

    enljoy rhinebeck!

  7. marnie Says:

    Good for you, bro. Friends don’t let friends eat at chain restaurants. Slow food rules!!!

    And the rest of you – what’s up with the period clothing? Sounds fun – are they filming a new PBS reality series about colonial knitters or something?

  8. amanda Says:

    SSK on a plane? Do tell, what size needles do they allow? What types? Did security give you any trouble? I just spent 2 days getting to Montreal including an unplanned night in Chicago, all with a 3 year old and without knitting. It would have been better with sticks and string.

  9. Susan Says:

    Hey! Glad you made it and had a groovy dinner! Hope you’re feeling better, too!

  10. cynthia Says:

    I’m with you. Where’s the adventure of eating at a chain when you can experience the local one-of-a-kind place instead.

    Soo…. did the second kilt sock get done? Inquiring minds want to know.

    You needn’t fondle a sheep for me either, but a few pictures of the event would be most welcome – mainly so I can die of envy while I look at them.

    Have fun!

  11. Anna Bannana Says:

    Since there was question about period clothing…..
    I’ll be at the VA state park near my house volunteering for the Haunted Harvest Hayride ~ http://www.stauntonriverbattlefield.org/events.html
    (very little hay will actually be involved, sadly). No knitting this time, though I spin at the Antebellum Christmas Event. : )

  12. Stephieface Says:

    And my answer would be (also about the period clothing) is I will be at the Maryland Renn Faire…. http://www.rennfest.com… and although when most people go they can see men in kilts- I am cursed, when I go they all wear pants… even the kilt merchant wears pants. This is why I am glad they serve beer.

  13. Kittie Says:

    **blinks** For some reason it had totally escaped my rather pitiful cognative function that you lived so very close. How amazingly small the world has become.

    Will we get photos of the finished kilt hose in use?

  14. Kittie Says:

    Yeah….remind me to read my comment before hitting submit next time……….ack

    Cognitive.

    **grimace**

    It’s been one of those weeks.

  15. Nanc Says:

    I’m with you about the non-franchised establishments while “on the road.” I used to travel for work, spending a week in small, typically rural cities. They’d always be so proud of their new Applebees/Outback/Olive Garden that sometimes I couldn’t even wrangle a locally-owned option out of ’em!

    Will you be wearing your kilt at the Kid ‘N Ewe this weekend? I can’t wait (for the festival, not specifically your legs in a skirt – although I’m not objecting to that either). Okay… shutting up now.