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#18 The American Dream Book Tour & Protest Across the USA

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I don't care if it rains or freezes, long as I got my plastic Jesus, ridin' on the dashboard of my car."

- Cool Hand Luke

#18 The American Dream Book Tour & Protest Across the USA

NEW YORK CITY - If I can make it here. I'll make it anywhere.

I got skunked Friday night at Bluestockings Books in New York City.

Oh, well.

Right now I'm sitting in Everything Goes Books & Cafe in Staten Island. It's Saturday afternoon. A beautiful day.

Did I tell you?
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I was in Rochester, New York on Thursday, then drove down to NYC for my evening debacle on the Lower East Side.

I don't think I told you.

I crossed myself about a hundred times and then drove into New York City in the brown Honda yesterday afternoon. That car, if it were a person, deserves most of the credit for me getting this far on this trip. What heart that old soul has, seven thousand miles already, 170,000-plus all told.

Actually drove into the city, through the city, down the Palisades Parkway, the FDR, across the Williamsburg Bridge, into Brooklyn. I was going under the train, on the street.

It reminded me of some movies, maybe "Finding Nemo," maybe "The French Connection."
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And I think about Jimmy Breslin, going all-effing around these freaking neighborhoods, with his tie loose, his shirttail out, his hair stickin' out every-friggin'-way, a pad in one hand, pen in the other, walking fast, headed to his desk to punch out literature with two fingers, on deadline.

I got lost and stopped to ask for directions, twice.

The people were extra nice. I kind of knew they would be. Ruth and Sam and Emily and I had been to New York over New Year's. We saw "Hairspray" and walked around Times Square for four days. The people in the city were nice. The cab driver talked to us about Queens and Harlem and the bridges we passed as we stared out the windows trying to take it all in.

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