My Second Homes
These places mean a lot. Seriously. I'll sob thinking about them.
- •Cooperstown, New YorkI'm not kidding: I've been to Cooperstown 50+ times. As a kid, I was such a baseball nerd I woke up early before school to read the Baseball Encyclopedia. 5-6 times annually as a child. You won't find a more bucolic hub. The only town besides my own where I can always tell which stores have opened since I last visited at a 100% success rate.
- •Shoeless Joe's Cards And ComicsThird Universe was right down the street from me, but the cast of characters was too invested in Magic: The Gathering. I'd head one town over to Shoeless Joe's in Ossining after every dentist appointment and day off. Joe was surly and his selection was on point. My Mike Mussina Starting Lineup sits next to my childhood bed, unopened, to this day.
- •The Stage in the Croton's Asbury Play And Learn's BasementThe stage where I learned and practiced and performed improv, 7th through 12th grade. Taught me failure? Taught me humility? But also taught me how to get a goddamned laugh.
- •Starbucks, Thayer Street, Providence, RII spent all four years of college visiting this specific Bucks daily. I took all first dates here. If I was en route to a party I thought I might feel awkward at, I'd stop by Bucks first to kill some time; it was open late. I was invited to the barista's birthday party off campus. The staff has entirely turned over since college I believe? Miss it all.
- •MacMillan Hall 117The auditorium our college sketch group played in. My shows there will be my most memorable eternally. Four times a year, we were SNL, except we were never hated. Purely a home. Hardly even a second home. I'd live there.
- •My Cousins' Upstairs Nintendo Nook, Keswick, VirginiaKeswick is a ten-person town that borders Charlottesville. My cousins, all at least nine years older, were my only siblings. I love them. Alli, Ben, and Catherine taught me "Duck Hunt" here, gave me water in a plastic cup shaped like a strawberry here, and burned me an Evanescence CD here. This house has been sold. It surely still smells of Little Caesar's.