As I had mentioned earlier in the week, I’ve been doing some traveling. Got to Erie, Pennsylvania on Sunday, got back to Memphis on Thursday. I don’t mind distance, but taking 4 days worth of stuff anywhere on an airplane is kind of a drag. I’ve got one massive suitcase; one so big, you’d think a small family could live in there. I borrowed something bigger than my usual carryon, but smaller than an “I’m moving there for the rest of my life-size” bag.
Erie is one of those town that at one time bustled with industry, but, like many places in the Northeast, is navigating its way through tough times after many of those industries moved away or shut down. When you travel for work, you rarely get to pick who you travel with, but I’m pretty lucky in that regard; the guys I’ve gone long distances with are very easy to work with. One turns out to be particularly good at picking out local restaurants. After all, who wants to be stuck with the same chain dining you can get where you live? Will, the same guy who found the Ole Sawmill Cafe in Forrest City, Arkansas a few weeks ago, found “The Breakfast Place” in Erie. Don’t know why a morning-themed restaurant uses a crescent moon in its logo, but the food was pretty good, the service was super fast, and the prices were dirt-cheap. Just don’t order Terry’s Big Breakfast unless you’re really, really hungry.
Most of my interviewing experience is with news, where you just show up and start asking questions; in the corporate world, things are different because more people and points of view are involved. You have to expect that a corporate client will want input in a video they’re paying for. So we had corporate representatives, people from their ad agency and the people in the local facility to work with. The nice thing on this trip was that the small group of folks in the facility in downtown Erie know each other pretty well and have established a good working routine. And even though we totally disrupted that routine while we were taping over the course of several days, they were incredibly accommodating and a lot of fun.
The only drawbacks to our visit to the greater Erie area in mid-December was that is was pretty darn cold while we were there and there wasn’t necessarily a lot we could go out and do after spending full days on the shoot. On the morning we left, we did take a quick trip over to Presque Isle State Park, a peninsula that juts into Lake Erie just off Erie. The Tom Ridge Environmental Center is over there (the airport is also named after the former governor and Homeland Security secretary; I guess it helps being a big wheel from a small town).
It was less than 20 degrees outside when we got to the edge of the park facing the city (we were getting skyline shots). We passed a few people braving the cold to get their duck hunting on. One of our group grew up in state and says that cold weather does nothing to stop the process of hunting ducks – so watch out Daffy – they’re coming for you!
We’re changing planes in Detroit; where the airport may actually be one of the nicer parts of town – including the weird Light Tunnel you go through to get to Terminal A (the one with the glass walls that change color… you kinda think Pink Floyd should be playing softly in the background).
After landing in Memphis and going back to the office I’ve got to turn around and go back to the airport to get another rental car while my ride is in the shop. It turns out the “fixed by Christmas” estimate was too rosy. I’m being told New Year’s now.