HuffingtonPost  03/24/2014 3:35 pm EDT 

I have traveled a great deal in Northampton, MA. Love and friendship, imagination and wonder, progeny and family -- they happened there. But I never planned on being in one place forever and when I checked the clock, decades had passed.

I love road trips. They're full of possibility; they suspend time like a baseball game and exist just outside of reality. My bags were packed and I looked to the West.

The trip counter counted my way through MA, CT, NJ, PA, MD, VA, as I avoided weather. Then, in Tennessee, I shifted onto I40 and was westward bound. In Nashville, with moonshine and music, I toasted the road ahead.

In the car again, I crossed the mighty Mississippi in Memphis and then made my way through Arkansas, Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle -- which, by itself, is double the area of MA. The final push through New Mexico and Arizona brought the California border and a sense of urgency as the Pacific beckoned.

State borders rise up as natural topographic dividers that offer entry into wonderful new worlds of dialects, dishes, vegetation, music, accents, architecture and more. But they also create unnatural barriers between US the people. State by state variations in tax codes, speed limits, licensing, all categories of regulations, turn neighbors into outsiders. My official Massachusetts self became increasingly less official the further I got from home. Sure, there are no checkpoints to pass through, but freedom of movement is curtailed by paperwork barriers and local regulations. State rights have merit, but shouldn't our U.S. citizenship have equal value in all of our united states?

Three thousand miles. Fifteen cups of coffee. Four time zones. Nine refuels. Thirteen states. Winter to not winter. Atlantic to Pacific. Northampton to Santa Monica. I kicked off my sneakers and waded in the water. I had left seasonal chores behind.

After 48 hours behind the windshield, I opted to explore the coast on foot. I walked and jogged the snow free streets, watching. And what a show. The 3rd Street Promenade, Dogtown, Santa Monica Pier, muscle beach, the Venice canals, the Santa Monica stairs, and of course, the beachfront bike and walkway. Hipsters and hippies, tourists and druggies, boomers and techies, street dwellers and artists shared the streets and it mostly seemed to work. The Santa Monica/Venice community is totally walkable. The rest of LA, well, sure, that's walkable too if you drive.

Between the weather, that walkability, the miles of beachfront walkways with plenty of restrooms, significant crowds gather at all times of day. This is a welcome antidote to the national fear and mistrust that inhibited our ability to gather for no reason, to lean against lampposts waiting for no one. Public spaces that once encouraged community have become less comfortable. I say this as my home state boldly prepares to host the 118th running of the Boston Marathon in the shadow of last years horrific bombing.

Santa Monica has a wonderful public library system, as does LA. Branches are open and friendly and have many public events. But I can't take a book out because I don't have a local utility bill. The library staff is wonderful but I'm reminded that I am less than a full citizen here. Why can't I leave a credit card on file? I just want to read a book but I don't want to buy a book because then I'll have to buy a bookshelf for the book and then I'll have to buy a house for the bookshelf and I might want to go to Seattle or Denver of Austin.

But first I have lots more discovering to do right where I am. And with MLB's spring training coming to an end I'll be in baseball paradise. The Dodgers, Padres and Angels all play close by and my Mets are scheduled to visit each of them. And with the new season comes hope and promise, even for my Mets. For now, anything is possible.

Recently I was shaken and stirred from my sleep by a 4.4 earthquake. As I opened my eyes, I had no idea what was happening. This was followed by even more moments of having no clue what to do, so I just hung on.

I can not wait for what's next.

Follow Elan Barnehama on Twitter:



11/18/2014 11:18am

Some persons enjoyed a lot with his family and friends at hilly areas. Driving in the hills are very risky job but some people doing this as advanture. Essay writing is a very technical job which is doing some expert writers for others if anyone looking for essay writing services visit us and get required writing services.

11/21/2014 4:59am

There are very few people who take education issue very serious and aware people how to promote education awareness campaign in order to educate the nation. For your assistance in writing papers now professional services are available for completing your papers easily.

01/21/2015 6:44am

click here to get online codes generator for your steam wallet .here is the link to website.

03/08/2015 6:24pm

Scholarships help the students to set their goals and help them to achieve those goals. Students do hard work to achieve those goals by studying hard. Scholarships motivate them to do so and help to achieve goals.

03/09/2015 2:35am

Some students are hand to mouth while studying and they are unable to afford heavy expenses of study or hiring someone to write their papers. So the best option for them is to visit our source where our writers are helping them to complete their assignments and sharing tips for researching, collecting and writing data.

06/21/2015 11:14am

Hi there to every one, the contents present at this web page are actually amazing for people knowledge, well, keep up the good work fellows!

Nice article, thanks for the information. It's very complete information. I will bookmark for next reference.

08/22/2015 4:40pm

If you feel sad or abandon hust order an essay or call to support))

09/23/2015 1:33am

Thanks for share this impressive work.

11/18/2015 12:46am

Architecture Assignment and Online Homework Help Architecture Assignment Help Architecture: Definition Architecture is the task of designing and constructing buildings and other physical structures.

Cost of Auditor Auditing Homework Help, Online Auditing Assignment & Project Help Development of Cost Audit Profession.

Code Access Security C# Assignment Help, Online C# Homework & Project Help What is the importance of code access security? With role-based security, you can define what the user is allowed to do.

Cost Accounting Assignment Help Homework Help, Cost Accounting Assignment Help Finance Assignment, Cost Accounting Assignment Help Finance Homework and Project of financial management Cost Accounting Assignment Help Accounting is a field that is numerical in nature. The students who study accounting are concerned with the numbers.

11/18/2015 5:22am

Circuits Physics Homework Help and Circuits Physics Assignments Help available 24/7, as well as Assignments Experts and Tutors also available online for hire for Physics Projects.

11/20/2015 8:57am

Your company made high speed device. Cannot wait to order it myself because I have a lot of problems with connections not only at my work, even at home.

11/27/2015 3:19am

Thank you. Often, I come to you to read interesting thoughts)

I like it…

11/27/2015 3:21am

Taking a few minutes and actual effort to create a really good article.

11/27/2015 3:22am

love to visit, I be adding new sciences, and your blog is good

12/08/2015 5:03am

Those people are read this post definitely they will loved every little bit of it.

01/02/2016 12:36am

Many people like your blogs. continuous it.....

01/02/2016 12:38am

Great post !! Thanks for share that type blog. Many people like that blogs.

01/17/2016 11:13am

If you bind money again get abhorrent Visas and pay them on time to go on your credit. Pay added than the abject aperture and use them to pay accuse so you can pay what you allegation to pay while authoritative your credit.

Thanks for share that type blog. ..

Thanks for share that type blog. Many people like that blogs.

01/23/2016 12:50am

Nice Blog share. I like your post....

You have a good trip.

Awesome blog....

03/12/2016 1:55am

Good Luck Guys

03/12/2016 3:45am

Good work by you all

Nice Post !! I like Your well written and useful information....

Many people like your blogs. continuous it......

Great post !! Thanks for share that type blog...

A very beautiful stipulation besides amazing blog.

you have a good job.Nice Blog share. I like your post....

Comments are closed.