"Fourteen Weeks" is a series of updates that Ethan Gelber and Jane Higgins wrote
as a means of staying in touch with friends and family as they traveled around the world in 2002 and 2003.
|A BIG HINT:|
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First 14 Weeks (2002) — Part One: Introduction | Part Two: Australia | Part Three: Hong Kong | Part Four: Africa
Second 14 Weeks (2002) — Part One: Introduction, Ireland | Part Two: Europe and U.S. | Part Three: Europe | Part Four: North America
Third 14 Weeks (2002–2003) — Part One: Introduction, U.S. | Part Two: Mexico, Brazil | Part Three: U.S. | Part Four: U.S., Australia | Part Five: U.S.
The following text was posted here on January 18, 2003.
The two previous rounds of 14 weeks — reported to you on June 21 and October 4 (2002) — began when Ethan and Jane embarked on a long road between Sydney, Australia (Jane's home), and New York, NY (Ethan's home). After several months of residence together in one place, they were planning on settling for a while in the other. But, as they had no specific plans, they made no great haste. Their course across Australia, via Hong Kong, Africa, Europe and a quick visit to Canada took almost six months.
The thread is picked up again here, after six weeks in North America, but really only one settled week in New York.
Fourteen weeks ago, re-ensconced in New York City, Ethan engaged in the process of reaching out. He was eager to introduce Jane to friends about whom she had only heard, and so ensued a busy week of dinners and drinks, sobered only by a ceremony marking the endowment of the Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs's RaphaŽl Smith Memorial Prize, an award given in memory of a classmate of Ethan's who died tragically in a road accident while on a motorcycle journey from Paris to Tokyo. Ethan always thinks about this and how lucky he and Jane have been throughout their travels. Late in the week, of particular joy was an intimate gathering honoring the end of 36 years of bachelorhood for Ethan's high school friend Price.
Thirteen weeks ago, Ethan held a corner of a chuppah as Price then threw in his lot permanently with his bride Rebecca. A spirited crowd convened in the leaf-enlivened autumnal embrace of a moist New England weekend to witness the exchange of rings and vows. A few days later, spirits still buoyant, Ethan wrapped asparagus as an appetizing early nibble-tease for one of Anthony's fabled Meat Fests. Blades were later slung into some of Anthony's best flank steak and superb dry-rubbed, slow-cooked (with hickory chunks) barbecued ribs. The festive week was capped off by a cocktail taken with former GORP friends in Michelle Fama's new Core Pilates NYC studio!
Twelve weeks ago, Jane and Ethan happily hosted their Irish friend (and Belfast welcoming party several months ago), Grainne for a quick visit to NYC. Unfortunately, she wasn't around long enough to share in our chilly visit to Coney Island. We missed it in its busy summer prime — the Cyclone roller coaster was shut for the season (but we'll be back in April!) — and so echoed our way down an eerily barren Boardwalk, dipped our fingertips in a frosty New York Harbor, and then strolled beneath the elevated subway tracks down Brighton Beach Boulevard and the heart of Little Odessa. At dinner that evening with Ira and Scott, we perused old postcards of long-gone American amusement parks, musing on what Coney Island must have been like during its glory days. We also rounded out seeing the old GORP contingent at a farewell gathering for Ross a day before his trip down to the lands from which Jane hails. We figured he must be her counterbalance while she is in NYC.
Eleven weeks ago, Jane interrupted her enjoyment of a bicycle Tour de Bronx to do some baby-sitting. Ethan, Anthony, and fellow GORPster Sheila carried on through a beautiful pedal day into the nether regions of the northernmost NYC borough. Later in the week, Jane, always hankering for a little slice of home and tipped off by close friend Eileen, led the way to Fez (Under Time Cafe) for some music by Tim Freedman, lead singer of one of her favorite Aussie bands, The Whitlams. In between all of this, and some quick Halloween entertainment, we were packing and prepping for our last joint travel of the year: a trip to Mexico and perhaps points further south.
Ten weeks ago . . .
Copyright 2003-2004 Ethan Gelber. All rights reserved.