Culture

Trying to Use Plane, Train or Automobile in our Quick Change Exit from New York City

Have you ever had one of those days, moments, when you are trying to leave a city and at every turn you are turned away? This has happened to me in a major way twice in New York City.  Who knew that trying to leave an island could be so daunting.

The alarm rang at 4:15am today, drank a strong cup of coffee and hoofed it down to Penn Station to catch the 6am Amtrak down to Washington DC.  I got a latte and my ticket and then I was stopped in my tracks. The big board was flashing the word “cancelled”.  What the hell?  I looked up again. The board still said “cancelled” the loud speaker starting blaring that train 2103 was cancelled due to wires being faulty all the way down the I-95 corridor.  I immediately got into a line. I didn’t know what the line was for but I immediately felt the need to line up for a solution. I met my colleague and we brainstormed how could we leave the city?  I needed an army to help figure this out. I called my husband and asked him to look into flights. We looked into greyhound. There were no flights available. There were buses that would get us there four hours after the start of the meeting.  Ok. What about car rentals? My spouse got the numbers while I did the calling. That was a no go.  Not a single one had available cars.  Dejected. We were stymied at every turn. There didn’t seem to be much to do. We paused and felt there was no recourse. We were going to go to a diner and have a large breakfast. Any place have whiskey for the morning?  So, we started walking and walking. And we were passing a Avis car rental place. We had called the national line and had been told that there were no available cars.  But my colleague had a good feeling she ran in. She gave me the signal. We hit the jackpot. They were calling in more cars, one for us. OMG. Did we actually do it?!  We got a Ford Explorer-a mammoth of a car. We started the process but our GPS (my phone) was having an issue-Holland tunnel? Lincoln tunnel?  But we did make it out. We were starving but we made it onto the road It started to rain heavily. But we made it onto the road. We were going to see the positive.  An annoying couple of flies also made it into our car.  In a moment of unbelievable focus I was able to grab with one hand one of the flies. We passed an overturned oil tanker en route to DC that was quite horrific.  I managed to wolf down a bag of chips and made it to the meeting site. While at the meeting, the other fly was still pestering me. Wtf?  Why was this creature following me? For some reason this gave me flashbacks to the other time I had a horrific time getting out of the city.

Have you ever seen the movie Quick Change?  It is a 1990 comedy film that takes place in Manhattan starring Bill Murray, Geena Davis, Randy Quaid, and Jason Robards. Bill Murray’s character dressed as a clown, robs a bank in midtown Manhattan after they slip the bank they go through enormous hurdles to get out of the city to the point that New York City appears to be conspiring against their escape. The bank robbers in trying to get to the airport need to get onto the BQE (Brooklyn-Queens Expressway) but- in what is actually somewhat realistic situation in NYC- the signs were taken during construction work, resulting in the robbers becoming lost followed by a thief robbing them of everything they have (except the bank money, which they have taped under their clothes).  Whenever, I try to get out of New York I flash back to that movie.. The movie is truly somewhat realistic in its portrayal.

Ten years ago, I moved back to California from New York. We had a pretty big uhaul. Our mapquest instructed us to go via the Holland tunnel. We get into the traffic line. When the cops pull us over and tell us we can’t go through the tunnel with a uhaul. Huh? Who knew?  So, we make our way to the Lincoln Tunnel. But we needed gas.  So, we circled back onto tenth avenue and gassed up the uhaul We then turned to go back towards the lincoln tunnel. We turned down a street that seemed quiet. When all of a sudden, out of nowhere, about 15 homeless men come out of the dumpsters (or so it seemed) and start rocking our u-haul. They were screaming and growing. It seemed like a scene out of the Night of the Living Dead. It was unreal! They knocked our rearview mirror out. I opened the window and quickly grabbed it ducking my hand back in quickly.  We somehow made it to the tunnel. But we went 3,000 miles with an overheated uhaul, an overheated dog and a broken rearview mirror.

Oh New York how you trap me!

1 reply »

  1. I don’t drop a comment, however I looked at a few of the comments here Trying to Use Plane, Train or Automobile in our Quick Change Exit from New York City psychologistmimi. I actually do have 2 questions for you if it’s okay.
    Is it simply me or does it give the impression like a few of the
    remarks look as if they are left by brain dead visitors?
    😛 And, if you are writing at other places, I’d like to follow you. Would you make a list of every one of your public pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

    Like

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