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Sams Holidaying on Queen Mary 2 to New York and Miami

Welcome to this December 2018 edition of Hackwriters. 19 years on-line, 7500+ articles – reviews – stories – travel – share any feature you like and pass them on using the links.
Once again celebrating Hello – Hackwriters Best Travel blog 2018

Editorial: What I did on my hols… + Seasons Greetings to all our readers and writers

Wynwood Walls – Miami 

Not everyone gets to take a month off – let alone go by Queen Mary 2 to New York. Add ten days in Miami where it was 30C everyday – you might get a little jealous. But this was my bucket list epic journey and won’t ever happen again.
Sadly I arrived back with bronchitis and have spent a week with a hacking cough. Fate I guess.

Travelling on the Queen Mary 2 is a very special experience and although I wouldn’t recommend sleeping in a windowless inboard room, nevertheless there is so much to do you don’t spend too much time there. I was lucky that the National Symphony Orchestra was aboard and some fun, somewhat jingoistic concerts were well attended. A very friendly way to travel and I met some extraordinary people. Captain Wells I suspect is a workaholic – he never seems to leave the ship.

But the highlight for me was swimming with the fishes in South Beach FLA. (No mafia jokes). The fish (something like square headed sardines that leap out of the water) come in real close to the shoreline in rougher seas and you sort of plunge in and they swim around you or leap over your head. Sadly no photos as my iphone isn’t waterproof. But with the water being around 85F it was beautiful. The waves can be pretty tough and my swimming isn’t strong at all, but just being there and then walking the white sandy beaches for miles is perfect for me.

South Beach is pretty developed now, but I have memories of a dog track being where the luxury high rise Continuum is now. There are big restaurants (Joe’s Stone Crab), even a plant based one ($50 bucks for a small vegan burger and tiny glass of wine) but I liked the little Italian place Rossella at 110 Washington Ave run by Rossella Ansaldi where they serve a perfect Italian veggie meal is you ask and some excellent wine and conversation.

Lincoln Road is where everyone shops and I was lucky to be there when the streets were closed for the antique market full of eclectic objects and of course Halloween where the police presence was huge and the music deafening. Coffee is best at Paul’s. (Yes the same one as in France and London).

Miami Design District 2018 (The exterior of the car park is sometimes more interesting than the art inside).

Wynwood Walls – Miami
South Beach Inlet where the Cruise Ships leave port and Miami City glows in the background. Great for late night stroll.

I left Miami for New York and then to the University of Bridgeport. My host was the amazing Dean Allen Cook and I talked to Creative Writing students there. Time was too short as I’d have liked to have been able to read what they were producing, but I did appreciate visiting Connecticut in the fall and meeting the teaching staff (both the wonderful writer Eric Lehman and the Dean are contributors to Hackwriters) and seem very productive. Being in Bethel on election day was special too.

I went walkabout in Central Park on a beautiful Fall day. And I didn’t have to worry about keeping up my steps as I think I did 9 miles that day and hit the Hi-Line with Mary Johnson (a friend made on the Queen Mary 2). The Hi-Line is the elevated park on the old rail tracks between 14th and 34th Penn Station. We then went to see Dexter (Michael Hall) in Thom Pain (a one man show that everyone is talking about). The audience seemed impressed.

I was lodging at my niece’s apartment on the 56th floor (don’t look down) with a view of the Hudson River. Hard to realise right now I am going to move into a 1930’s semi with no view at all.

And I ended up in NoHo with my niece Emma looking for a book to read for my return journey. Of course I ended up with Haruki Murakami’s latest Killing Commendatore, of which at least half the pages concern an artist preparing meals or contemplating a painting. Wish I could get away with that – but I enjoyed it anyway. Be easier to buy the books if they weren’t stuck up on the ceiling though.

I may make a more coherent attempt at my journey later but that will do for now.

© Sam Hawksmoor Dec 1st 2018

*As ever Hackwriters is supported by sales of our books – so do buy, print or kindle, we aren’t picky.
The Sam North Novels – still available to order on Lulu or Amazon
** The HeavinessAnother Place to Die: Endtime Chronicles are recommended also read
The Repercussions of Tomas D


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