After leaving New York City, I expected the drive to Philadelphia to be rather easy…and it would have been, if not for the legendary badness of Pennsylvania highway design and signage. See how I-276 appears to intersect I-95 there? Yeah, that’s what I thought, too. Only it doesn’t; there isn’t even a sign to mark the place they cross, nor any instructions such as “use US 13 to reach I-95”. If one doesn’t already know how to get from one to the other, one will find oneself west of the city wondering what the hell happened and calling one’s husband for directions. Furthermore, even those highways which are labelled properly often don’t connect properly; one may have to exit and drive for miles on surface streets (complete with traffic lights) to get from one interstate highway to another it supposedly connects to. Oh, and please don’t suggest I get a damned GPS unit, either; every time someone uses one of those screwy things to give me directions it takes me miles out of the way through a maze of turns instead of just plotting a direct course; on the day I’m writing this I was literally given GPS directions to a business that led me to a completely different part of town than the one the business actually occupies (fortunately, there was a similar business in the vicinity of the incorrect destination, so I used it instead).
Grumbling aside, I had a good visit to the city; the group at Liberty On the Rocks was undeterred by heavy rain, and we had a lively discussion which was actually joined by a sex worker who just happened to be in the cafe at the time. On Thursday I drove down to Washington DC, stopping briefly in Baltimore for a TV interview on the local ABC affiliate (I understand it will be part of an investigative series). From there I went on to Alexandria, Virginia, the Washington suburb where the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit was being held; I’ve written my thoughts about the conference in a little more detail for Eros Guide. While I was there, Cathy Reisenwitz kindly invited me to stay at her place; it turned out to be very conveniently located, a straight shot down one long street to the convention. I touched base with some activists I already knew, met some folks I hadn’t before (including Melissa Gira Grant and porn performers Nina Hartley and Buck Angel), attended an informal group discussion of Lawrence vs. Texas and similar sexual freedom cases, and even sold a few books before zooming down to Raleigh, North Carolina for a podcast that evening. The details of that, however, can wait until next week!
The tour’s nearly over, but you can still catch me in Charleston, Atlanta, Tampa or New Orleans; if your city is within a few hours’ drive of those (or between them), you can still send an email asking me to visit, though obviously it’s pretty tight now. Your request will be more likely to be doable if you can make the arrangements yourself (in other words if it’s your store, club or whatever).