Monday, June 2, 2014

New York City

As soon as I left Richmond, I hit some traffic and was crawling along the superhighway at less than ten miles per hour.

That eventually cleared up and we made it to Washington DC. The traffic was heavy but flowing. I was impressed by seeing the Washington Monument and Capitol Building. The rest of what I could see as I sped by on the highway looked like mostly large concrete buildings. It was humid and hot.

Just as we left DC, we got on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, which was a pretty drive with lots of greenery, and the traffic flowed at the speed limit. Actually, this was one of those highways were if I did the posted speed limit, people were passing me left and right and shooting me looks on the way past. So I inched up to a respectable ten miles an hour over. That way I wasn't in the way, but wasn't going faster than anyone else, either.

We stopped at a Rest Area in Delware. Only they don't call them Rest Areas, so I missed the first one I saw after wanting to stop. Eventually I realized that the Service Area was where I needed to pull over to give River his 'break'. It was quite different than the Rest Areas I'm used to. Instead of the small park-like setting, this was more like a mini-mall setting. With retailers like Starbucks, Taco Bell, Cinnabon and Sunoco Gas. There was an immense parking lot and I had to drive through a few sections before I could find a spot. People were running all over the place like it was an amusement park. River needed to sniff every tree in the giant grassy area, so we were there for a while before hitting the road again.

Then the tolls started. Ouch!

They started small at 70 cents, but got bigger and bigger. And there were quite a few of them. By the time we made it through the Lincoln Tunnel, I was quite used to stopping and handing $13 out the car window. I was so thankful for all the cash in small bills that I got from the LOVE donation bucket at the ACAC that morning.

Getting to New York city was surreal. I lived there for 11 years, so there was a very strong familiarity feeling as soon as I popped out of Lincoln Tunnel in Hell's Kitchen. But in all of those years, I never once drove a car. So my perspective of this very familiar city was different than I had ever had before.

I was a bit nervous about this moment, which turned out to be fine. Driving in Manhattan isn't bad at all. In fact, I find it kind of fun. There's a nice flow to it that I recognize from the city itself. It just works. I don't know how; it just does.



I drove up to my friend's apartment, not knowing what I was going to do about parking. I was going to drive up and park at the fire hydrant so I could unload all of my luggage and River's crate and stuff, but when I drove up, I found my friend standing in the street right next to an open parking space in front of his front door. I was glad to pay the meter for such an ideal spot.

I am beginning to get a real sense of how ridiculously expensive it would be to own a car in New York City.

River is very stimulated. He loves to smell and explore everything. And like most people eventually do, he'll have to come to terms with the fact that he just simply cannot attend to every stimulus in this city.

He also wasn't sure what to make of the noises of apartment living. People's voices? Foot steps? Where are these invisible people? Why are they in our hallway? BARK BARK BARK. Every few minutes. Something must be done about this...

Lincoln Center

Central Park

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