I know, dramatic, right? But equal time for the trials of living here must be paid… So… our quick”zip-car” trip across the river to Target for supplies (we needed a Midwestern suburban fix) turned into a trek equal to my pioneer heritage. Getting there was a breeze. The shopping was bliss. The return trip was quick — no traffic in the Holland Tunnel… Then the real fun began.
We headed up the West Side Highway, only to discover that a bike race had closed it down — but had no idea exactly how much of it — and we were routed to 10th Ave. We made fairly good time until around 34th Street. Then gridlock. Standstill. We could almost hear the frozen goods whimpering in the trunk. We extend the zip-car for another hour. And we take a few deep breaths.
20 minutes later we’re at 40th Street. We can see the parking garage where we have to drop off the car, but have a car-load of groceries and supplies that will be grueling to carry the four blocks to our apartment, so we decide to stick it out and try for the left turn on to 42nd street that heads to 11th Ave, where we live.
20 minutes later we’re at 41st Street. Count the blocks. One. We extend the zip-car for another hour. The worst part? Not knowing! How can we be 4 blocks from home and have no idea why we can’t get there? Ridiculous. And so is this story. Getting boring. I’m wrapping it up.
We swing a right, head up 8th Ave, turn left at 48th, only to discover that they’ve shut off 11th Ave at 47th, so we can’t turn down that way either. We shout obscenities at no one in particular and swing back the other way, hit 42nd Street, get all the way to 9th Ave, where the traffic cops force us to turn right and head uptown. AAAUUUGGGHHH!!!! The ice cream is mush. The zip-car is extended AGAIN. And the conversation between us and the traffic cops gets ugly fast. I’m trying to have a controlled conversation with the woman, while Chris is in the passenger seat channeling Satan. Spittle flying. Head spinning. Love me a Scorpio. He’s yelling at her. I’m yelling at him. She’s laughing at us. Not pretty. Just not pretty. In the end, we have Minnesota ID on us, so couldn’t prove our address anyway, and were forced to move on.Two blocks away from home. What is this, a police state?
We head around the block AGAIN, return the zip-car, load up like pack mules and head toward home, only to discover that in the 7 minutes it took us to go around the block and park the car, the barricades had been removed, and all roads were open. Now the traffic cop HAD to know that they were ready to open the roads. She HAD to. But noooooo. Move along, sir. Move along.
By this point Chris and I are not speaking to each other at all. Not a word. Too volatile. Pedestrians were parting around us like Moses parted the Red Sea. They knew better. We get past the police station at 10th Ave., noting the flag flying at half-mast by a thread of a rope, tattered and torn, well after 911, and that sends Chris off on ANOTHER tyrade about New York’s finest, traffic cops, and politics in general, all the while trying to keep the ice cream from dripping down his leg. I’m walking ten paces behind (how very Japanese wife of me) and see him pause, side-step, and go completely silent. There in the middle of the sidewalk is a large, freshly killed rat. Disgusting. I busted out laughing. I laughed so hard, I dropped my grocery bags. It was just too perfect. What could have topped off such a New York morning than a fresh rat kill? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. At that moment, I hated NYC so much I fell in love with it all over again.