Sunday, April 12, 2009

Driving is hell in NYC (in case you didn't already know)

Hey, look! It's Tudor City. I totally almost lived there until I looked at a few apartments and cried. They were so ridiculously tiny. Like 200 sq. feet tiny. And when they built Tudor City people didn't have kitchens in their apartments (they ate in mess-hall style cafeterias) so you would see one of the closets sacrificed to the gods of hot plates and dorm fridges. But that is not what this post is about.

And oh hey there's the Chrysler Building with Tudor City! Great shots right? You don't usually see shots from this angle. You see I got these great pictures while sitting on the FDR. Yep. I was in a car. Driving. Don't worry, I wasn't taking pictures while zooming along at (ahem) 40 mph because that's the speed limit. Nope. I was at a standstill thanks to gawd awful city traffic.

On Wednesday it took me 2.5 hours to get to New Rochelle for a Seder. It should have taken me an hour tops. I should have predicted traffic would be hell but I had no idea how bad. I didn't want to take the train because my cousin doesn't really live near a train station. So instead I decided to get a Mini Cooper from Zipcar and zoom and sing at the top of my lungs. I left work early and started the commute at 4:30 from Battery Park City.

(Quick tangent: There is no Mini Cooper on the east side of Financial District. What gives Zipcar? That's your friggin flagship vehicle. Oh and PS the cars at the Cedar St garage are always messy inside and have less than 1/4 tank. I have animosity against my neighborhood Zipsters. Thanks especially to the person who left a Starbucks soy latte in the BMW 328 overnight! My car ride was so pleasant in 30 degree temperatures with the windows down to alleviate the smell.)

My cousin had given me directions going up the West Side but my friend who'd left 30 minutes before me called to warn me off that path. So I thought I would just zip up the FDR drive to the Triboro aka RFK bridge to 95. Oh man. What a mess the FDR was! At 5 PM I hadn't made it to Houston St. At 5:30 PM I was just passing Tudor City. At 6 PM I was near tears at 96th St. Side streets were no better. It was the massive Passover commute!

I have never hit such bad traffic on the FDR. When I lived on the Upper East Side I'd just get on at 96th St and sometimes it would be stop and go. This was just stop. The only good news was that I got to take in the pretty scenery. I went through two CDs before I cleared Manhattan. I almost turned around twice -- the only thing that stopped me was that the traffic was equally bad going southbound. And the WORST was all the idiot drivers weaving in and out of traffic trying to gain any position. I picked the left lane and stayed there almost the whole way up.

Wait though. It gets better. Around the Queensboro Bridge I heard sirens behind me. Thinking it was an emergency I moved over. Except it wasn't an ambulance. It was the Mayor's caravan. Yep, that's right. The Mayor who takes the subway to work was apparently in such a rush to get home that they had to make a traffic jam even worse. I hope he made it in time for dinner!

I almost didn't. I was ridiculously late. So was everyone else though. And for contrast, the trip home took me 40 minutes. And it would have been shorter but I got caught by the toll shift change entering Manhattan. I wasn't even speeding! I didn't have to brake around corners though...god bless Mini Coopers.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

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