Another good day at the office

For the last few days I got to work in the north country of NY state. Yes thats right folks my employer paid me to strap my kayak and two bikes to my roof and embark on a journey that took me through Ogdensburg, Malone and currently Lake Placid. I love my job, unfortunately its only a summer job- but that means I must make the most of it now.

I had the fortunate abhility to witness a real American camp today in Mountain View NY just 13 miles south of Malone, in some beautifull rural northern NY country. This camp was similiar to a boy scout camp- well it was coed too. Anyway when it came time for their meal which was supper. They ceromoniously lowered the flag, said a pledge of leagience, sang America the Beautiful and said grace. Man I love these American Tradition camps. Anyway most of the kids are from the rural counties of Franklin and St Lawrence, which meant a lot of stares at my tzitit and Yamy. One kid had the courage to ask me what I was wearing, to which my response gave way to a bunch of “I told you he was Jewish”. One kid said he went to a bar mitzvah in Oswego once. Oswego is not that rural so its not that wierd though.

Anyway when I was done looking at this camp. I drove south on Route 30- one of the greatest roads to drive, cycle or just sightsee on in NY state. Route 30 goes from the Delaware county area of the Catskills straigh up through Oneonta, Amsterdam and ultimately Malone and the far reaches of Northern NY. It is wide with wide shoulders and features some of the nicest scenery in NY State. I highly recommend it. Anyway as I drove south into Saranac Lake I noticed a man talking on a cell phone wearing black pants, and a tucked in striped polo. I just knew he had to be Jewish So I pulled into a parking lot and spied his wife clad in snood and skirt tending their BBQ on the side of a lake. I was very happy and debated whether aI should go up and offer them some money for food. I had just cooked up some rice on my stove so I wasnt that desperate yet. I left feeling happy tat I wasnt the on ly other orthodox Jew roaming the great ADK wilderness.

I checked into my free hotel room and went wandering around Lake Placid. Since it was already dark, too late for a kayak or ride. I grudgingly walked among the tourist and souvineir shoppers trying to look like a local, though I was not. I got to thinking how WASPY the crowd here was. Fancy cars with their purple headlights flowed through town. Upper class teens stood in crowds of 4 clad in khaki shorts and Abercrombie sweatshirts, comparing camera phones and listening to their     I-Pods. I stopped in Ben and Jerrys for it was the only kosher establishment in lake Placid. There is a pretty large shull, but I would never actually be in Lake Placid were it not for work, I usually hang out in the woods. I noticed men and women that looked like they came from a round of golf, I noticed older folks that looked to be shopping for antiques and other upper class things that us poor folks could not afford. I always say you know who they are catering to based on the type of stores. If a town is full of stores containg things no one really needs, like vases, huge glass bowls, and other assorted things available at Crate and Barrel type shops nationwide- you know its an upper class suburban crowd. I did spot one store I was interested in that was open- a used book store. Overpriced for a used book store with prices as high as 20 bucks for hard cover books. But I did find a treasure, urban geography the design of cities with a history. I asked how much it was and stated that only a true nerd would buy this, and that most these poeple could afford new books anyway. $4 not bad for a hard to find book.

I strode off back to my fancy hotel dreaming of internet access and the jacuzzi in my room. I have never stayed in a hotel with a jacuzzi in my room. Come to think of it, if I pay for my own room I never stay in hotels unless it is A) under 25 degrees outside B) under $30 a night C) Shabbos.