Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Boston planning, memories

It’s been absolutely fucking unbearable here, heatwise. I spent most of yesterday sitting in bed with a fan pointed at me, reading and passing in and out of sleep. I managed to get out of the house today for a haircut, some shopping at St. Marks (including Toy Tokyo and Kim’s) and a late lunch of breakfast at Kiev. I also went to Barnes and Noble and got a book on Boston, so I won’t be completely lost when I get there on Thursday.

I’ve been to Boston twice already, both times at the end of ’95. Both times were for work, when I was at CompuServe, and both times I was there for a week for a trade show. I had fun both trips, although on the first one, over Halloween, I got really sick and had to fly home with a full-on head cold, which became the absolute worst pain I’ve ever endured in my life. But both times, I saw a good amount of the city, although most of it was spent zipping around in cabs with people who knew more about the general geography, so I have no idea which way is up. But now my new book has a map, and I should be able to get around a bit better.

My memories of that whole era, the first six months of Seattle, are far enough back that I only remember mostly good things. I spent all of my time hacking on my first two books, I didn’t have a TV, I didn’t have any money, and I tried to do a lot to find out more about the new-to-me Emerald City. Most of that involved spending the last few bucks after car payments and rent to go to Elliot Bay books, buy whatever Bukowski I didn’t have, and go to whatever book signing they had. I remember meeting Barry Gifford, Richard Rhodes, and Kay Jamison within a month of each other in the basement of that old bookstore. And when I didn’t walk down to Pioneer Square, I would drive north and south on I-5, going up to see movies at Mountlake Terrace and wandering around the Northgate mall.

I just realized I have a shitload of travel books, both of places I’ve been and places I’ve wanted to visit. I wish I could visit each of the places I have a book for; it would be cool to go to Japan, Amsterdam, New Orleans. I don’t think I am taking any more big trips this year, although I am going to Vegas and probably taking one more long weekend. But next year, I’d like to roll all of my tax money into plane tickets and hit a lot of places.