For those of you waiting on the edge of your seat, I did, in fact, dry off my entire body and hair with a hand towel this morning. It was a feat unto itself and now I am fully aware that I can do it. I also got a nice shot of the Long Island Sound as I made my way from West Haven to New Haven and I froze my face off rolling down my car window to capture it. I really am a sucker for water and sun shots (read: Pisces).
So I attended interview #4 (loved it!) and midway through had a short break where I opted to explore beautiful downtown New Haven, Connecticut. I’d seen some of the area already when I traveled to Louis Lunch (see “Travels of a broke grad student on interviews, part 3” for details), but I took a somewhat more extensive vehicular tour since I had a full half an hour to kill. Turns out New Haven is quite pretty.
Following the interview I found myself a local Starbucks (kudos to Dave for the protip on where to change on the fly) to preserve my interview outfit and get more comfy and then recalled the recommendation for clam pizza (I know, ew, right?) by a co-worker. He hadn’t given me a good location for it, but I recalled he said “white” and “clam.” I used TripAdvisor to guide me to the highest ranked pizza joint (turns out I should have gone with Pepe’s, the second-highest ranked pizza joint, but I was unaware of that recommendation at that time) and found myself at Modern Apizza, who apparently only sells pizza by the pie. Of course I had to purchase the small (12″) white pie, half clam, half broccoli (just in case I didn’t like the clam). Clam pizza is apparently served with lemon wedges and let me tell you if you have the opportunity to both (a) try clam pizza and (b) add lemon, DO BOTH.
I can’t say with any distinct level of certainty that it was the particular pizzeria that produced such deliciousness, but I can say it was damn good. I ate half of my pie hot while on the road and stashed the other half in my new host’s refrigerator and ate it at 9pm cold. Better hot, but not half bad cold.
I rolled up to my latest adventure-in-staying-in-strangers’-homes around 4:45 p.m. somewhere in the hills of Baldwinville. Their post stated “surrounded by woods” and they were not kidding. My expected host, David, was called into work, but his wife, Linda, was ready and available to show me around and chat me up for a while in his stead. I tried to park atop their driveway after hearing that there was some expected snow, but Linda insisted I park in the driveway. I’m a little worried about getting out in the morning, especially with the forecast of some heavy snow beginning at 5 a.m. I didn’t plan to leave here until around 7:15, so it may be with the help of the David I haven’t yet met pushing me up the slight incline to depart their driveway.
Staying in their home was not expensive. In fact, it was about the same price I had spent the day before to stay in…well, a college dorm. Instead, I am currently snuggled up in a house built by the owners, who also spend their weekends at craft fairs selling etched rings. Linda showed me one of hers. It read Linda ❤ ❤ David 5-30-81. Apparently, these two have been together longer than I’ve been alive. It was actually a really nice ring and I wonder what they charge for those. I was half tempted to buy one off of her as a memento from my stay. I didn’t. (Remember the title? BROKE grad student.)
My room is nice. It’s small, reminds me a little of my grandmother’s house, but I think it’s just the older bed frame, recliner, and lamp. It has a mirror, which is a huge improvement from last night’s lodging. After being here an hour or two I started wondering if they ever put the heat on, as it was getting colder and colder. I took a nap–one, because I needed it desperately, but also because I was trying to stay warm–and only after I awoke did I recall Linda saying “you can turn the thermostat to whatever you want,” and glanced up to see that I had complete control over the room’s temperature. Oops. It’s now a balmy 65. I’m sleeping on a twin bed, which I haven’t done alone since I was…I dunno, 17? There was a short stint of cramming into my ex-boyfriend’s twin bed when we first met, but that changed relatively quickly. I assure you a 210 lb. man and myself don’t fit comfortably on a twin bed. I’m slightly concerned I might roll off of this one. It’s really high!
So that’s my latest tale. I expect to have more to say after the expected 5 a.m. weather and a 5-hour ride back to Philly. I’ll probably stop for lunch in between the next interview and my departure. I haven’t spent more than gas & toll money and the $12 on the pizza I ate for lunch and dinner. I think I can splurge a few bucks for a sit-down meal, no?
You’re right, probably not. Stay tuned!