Chasing the Sun

I’m running after the fleeting twilight on my way to Seattle. It’s been like this for the last four hours: us extending the sunset at 35,000 feet. We passed by a thundercloud somewhere over the Pennsylvanian countryside. Seeing the real thing face to face is so much more dramatic than what is seen in the movies or perhaps the Twilight Zone.

For the next 3 hours afterwards, the characteristic rich orange hues dominated the sky. You could easily see what Ronald Reagan found so appealing in his sunset funeral.

Now the darkness dominates as we duck into a dozen clouds. Yet as the sky dims, the ground lights up with its own orange glow of street slights. Near, you can make out the details of the ground; far, the lights become a string of light, then whisps of orange filaments.


I just drove 108 miles in the last 12 hours. This may not seem like a big deal to anyone outside of NYC, but 1. this was between 7 PM and 7 AM this morning, and 2. the drive was completely within Brooklyn and Queens, and 3. New Yorkers hate to drive, especially between the stated time periods and especially if they don’t end up going anywhere.

Stop one: a fundraiser for a Korean civil rights group in Astoria. Met Councilman John Liu from Flushing (again — saw him at a dinner the night before also). His speech: if NYC is 10% Asian, and there are 51 members in the Council, there ought to be at least 5 Asian councilmembers, right? Right. His driven determination is what we as APAs need to do.

Stop two: P–‘s house, where I took a power nap. She also happens to live 15 minutes away from JFK.

Stop three: JFK terminal 4, a.k.a. “The Terminal” where Tom Hanks is stranded. I’m there to pick up my aunt. Unfortunately, she’s flying BWIA from Trinidad, which means that they are on island time, i.e. whenever. Scheduled for 10 PM, it was pushed back to 2 AM, and then to 3 AM. So, I’m the one that’s stranded, having to spend $2.99 for a bottle of Pepsi and $9 for parking that should have cost $1.50. Finally clearing customs at about 10 to 4, I drive like a madman to my parents’ place.

Stop four: P–‘s house, where she’s getting ready for a 7:30 am flight to Seattle. The sun’s been out for about an hour at this point.

Stop five: JFK Terminal 9. While my night vision sort of sucks, it’s compensated by the fact that there is virtually no one on the Belt Parkway at 3 in the morning. Now, it gets crowded and limos dart in and out while I get my 30 seconds at the curb.

Stop six: My apartment, where I’m writing this instead of packing for my trip to Seattle tonight. I’m staying out there, making a day trip to Vancouver (dragon boat races!), and returning Tuesday. We’ll have internet, so I’ll blog from there. See you on the other coast (and I get to christen a new location category!)

And no, I’m not driving — I’m going to take the AirTrain.