24 hours in Rochester

3 Sep

Is a 24-hour visit to Rochester in the upstate of New York too long? Not necessarily.

Got up at 5am, took 5:20am Path train to 33rd street, walked up to Penn Station and got on the 7:15am Amtrak train. 7 hours later, I was at the train station of Rochester, a station that only has 2 tracks and one platform.

Visitors who just got off the train at Rochester quickly got picked up by families and friends. The train station suddenly became strangely quiet, in the afternoon of a Saturday. Gustav, the friend I was visiting was running late and I had to spend another 20 minutes in the station by myself, imagining what he could possibly propose to make the next 24 hours a bit less boring in this little town, or the third-largest town of New York State.

Gustav was a long-time friend of mine. He was the other major character in the famous story I often tell my new friends. A story about hiding in a tiny bathroom on a night train from Rome to Paris for 10 hours.

For many people who live in New York City, Rochester may be far from interesting. You basically could count the number of cars on the main street. And only a few restaurants in the downtown area were open during weekends. Gustav apparently did some nice homework and we ended up having dinner at a very popular local BBQ place–Dinosaur BBQ, a Food Network’s triple-D-style restaurant. The place was packed and smelled like happiness wrapped with butter, cheese, charcoal and hot sauce.

Gustav always had big apatite and after 7 hours of train-ride, I was also hungry. We ordered 6 honey mustered wins and a whole pack of BBQ ribs with four home-made sides. Any description of the food would be powerless, so I decided to just throw the pictures here.

Following the feast that might already have put 5 more pounds on me, came the wine/beer and Smirnoff drinking and some long chat. Pursuing his Ph.D. in marketing , Gustav was so excited about his future life (which is at least 5 years away) as a professor and feeling bad for me, who needed to get up everyday in the early morning to join other commuters and inhale the dirty air of Manhattan. “A sad life,” as he said. He was partially correct, partially, about the air part.

Escaping away from the chaos of the city for 24 hours and spending some nice 15 hours on the train reading from my iPad turned out not too long at all. Don’t mind to do this again. So what’s the next destination?

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