Erie better than expected

See update for December 16, 2021, under the Donald Trump heading.

I did better than I expected in Erie. A lot better. This argues for a move up there in some form. But it’s possible I simply got lucky today; this experience will have to be repeated.

The neighborhoods that have houses I can afford a down payment on are probably not neighborhoods I want to move into. One passenger explained that one of them is actually okay—and well patrolled—but I think the noise level there will be higher than I like.

In the five years I have been driving for Uber and Lyft, I have never heard as many serious complaints about other drivers in a single day as I did today. One driver was allegedly drunk and drinking in the car. Another launched into a misogynist tirade. According to these accounts, both drivers refused to let their passengers end the trip early and police had to intervene in both. I’m of course only hearing one side of these stories; if I misjudge their veracity, I could find myself on the wrong end of a similar complaint.

One of the aforementioned complaining passengers hates Erie. She says there’s a lot of anti-Semitism there. We were comparing notes; I told her of the racism in Pittsburgh but—oops—forgot to mention the Tree of Life shooting. She prefers Pittsburgh. I think I prefer Erie.

It’s clear the place is, on the whole, a more progressive place than Pittsburgh. I saw a number of rainbow flags, including at the café I got breakfast at and a few Black Lives Matter signs. I saw precisely one Trump yard sign, which definitely looked the worse for wear, and graffiti in one railroad trestle that said “Let’s Go Brandon.” One passenger today thought COVID-19 is all political.

The roads are still far better than in Pittsburgh. The navigation is far easier; Erie is mostly on a grid system. Other drivers are nowhere near as obnoxious, though they absolutely do not do the Pittsburgh Left, which caught me out a couple times because I’m becoming accustomed to offering it to other drivers. It was definitely unexpected.

There are a couple of colleges in Erie; I’m told a lot of the Uber business is ferrying college kids to get drunk and, presumably, do other stupid stuff. I generally try to avoid drunks.

In general, my preparation for this trip was fine, in part because of redundancy I keep with me anyway. Considering I haven’t traveled since I moved to Pittsburgh, well over two years ago, this is a bit of a surprise. I might have taken along a windbreaker for the cold but the truth is that I simply wasn’t out in it that much; most of my time was either in heated indoors or inside my heated car.

I am not yet caught up on today’s news.

Donald Trump

The text formerly here has been moved, edited, and expanded in a new blog post entitled, “How much does Donald Trump’s profanity against Binyamin Netanyahu matter?

Times of Israel, “Don’t make us choose — you or Israel: Evangelical warns Trump over Netanyahu rift,” December 15, 2021,

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