A Normal Day 8/10/10

Date:                           August 11, 2010


Location:                    Plattekill, NY




            The other day I wrote about a little normalcy needs to rain on every life and that is just a fact of life.  Well, yesterday was not one of those days.  It may have started that way, but as the day unfolded it seemed that if there was any metaphorical rain falling on our lives it was not going to be normalcy, but it might be a bit of weird or just plain crazy.  Our day did begin with a boring list of things we needed to do and to get at Wally World and it would end with a dinner enjoyed on the edge of the Hudson River at a small marina.  That, in itself, would be a wide spectrum of experiences for one day if it were the whole story.  Our day had that beginning and end with a driving tour of Manhattan thrown in the middle for contrast.  It was not a day of normalcy, rain or other wise.  I did hear a lot of “your crazy” coming from my wife setting next to me with her white knuckles and often closed eyes.


            Our day, as I alluded , began with a list of needed items and a plan to go to Wally World.  After our less than enjoyable trip to the local den of disgust and fake money savings deals we were going to sooth our injured egos at Barnes and Nobles surrounded by books and dreams of better places.  Something went radically wrong on our way out of the park.  As my wife was doing her recycle thing I decided it would be neat if we investigated the possibility of finding a parking lot in New York City where we could start a bicycling tour of the city at sometime in the future.  I placed the Intrepid Museum in Sackee and decided we should play a game of Sackee Tag on Manhattan Island.  My wife, who is a little used to my craziness, thought if I was nutty enough to drive in the city she would come along for the ride.  Our shopping list would still be there the next day, biking the city did sounded cool, and Wal-Mart is not going anyplace, so off to the city we went.


            It was about now that I kept hearing an echo of “your crazy,” but I proceeded on and Sackee continued barking out orders.  When we finally entered the city and I thought we were heading for the Hudson River Parkway I turned of Sackee and went on adventure mode.  That may have been a mistake, or maybe not.  I missed my turn for the Parkway and ended up on Riverside Drive heading for the southern expanses of Manhattan Island.  Traffic on Riverside Drive was unbelievably light and the drive was more than pleasurable.  Riverside Drive is a tree lined avenue of tall apartment complexes that parallels the Hudson River.  It is, also where the end of “You’ve Got Mail” was filmed.  As you meander down the lovely and quiet streets it is very difficult to believe that you are on the busiest island on earth and near the financial hub of the world.  Yet, leisurely we drove through this avenue of calm into the den of chaos.


            Driving in the busy section of New York City is not quite as nerve racking as I may have thought.  It is as busy as I thought, and it does demand total awareness of your position and the location of every idiot near you, but it is not quite as intimidating as its reputation may imply unless you allow it to become that way.  There a few rules you must understand and realize will always apply.  The main rule is that the army of Taxi’s that rule the streets do rule the streets.  They may not obey your rules or maybe it is that they have there own set of rules.  I am not sure which applies, but I do know that they do not always obey any set of rules that I understood on my first excursion into the chaos.  The main rule to remember while attempting to drive on any street in Manhattan is that the bumper in front has the right-of –way.  That vehicle may be on your right, on your left or dropped form the heavens, but if he has his bumper in front of your bumper he has the authority and privilege of taking your place in the sea of bumper cars.  This rule applies to you also if you chose to play, and if you don’t chose to play you had better get off the island.  By the way we have implements on both ends of our car which makes us somewhat like a plow.


            One of the other driving rules of the city is that buss drivers are real ass_ _ _ _ .  That is not an opinion, it is a fact.  Bus drivers think that if they have a bumper it is there right to take any damn position on the road that they want, and they do.  A forty foot, eight foot wide bus can fit in a space smaller than a 10 foot, 6 foot wide small SUV.  I know that because a bus proved it to me yesterday.  No scratches, no dents and a new pair of undershorts later we proceeded on out tour.  


            Our driving tour of Manhattan took us up and down the island on both the east side and the west side.  It took us back and forth across the island a couple of times and through a lot of areas of the city we had not yet explored.  We drove down a very narrow alley that was called Wall Street, and up a very wide avenue called Broadway.  We drove around Washington Square looking for Harry or Sally and found neither.  As we were heading out of the city and looking for a place for lunch at 4:30 pm I saw a ramp for the Brooklyn Bridge and we toured a small section of Brooklyn.  Who would not take a ride across the Brooklyn Bridge if they had a chance?  We did find that parking is a challenge in the city.  The parking garages are either always on the other side of a very busy avenue with no means of getting there or the price to park caused my wife to hyperventilate and direct me to proceedeth on.


            Our chance for lunch did finally materialize.  It was at 7:30 pm and it was a few miles north of the city.  It was about 75 miles north of the city and situated on the bank of the Hudson River and just under our Hudson River walk-way.  We had wanted to try the Mariner Restaurant and with empty tummies and day full of memories we managed to accomplish that task.  Our simple day of shopping had become a day of memories and experiences that will stay with us for a long while.  We still have a list of items we need to do and day in which to get them done.  It just seemed that yesterday it was raining a cloud burst of weird adventures and we needed to grab hold of our opportunities and enjoy the experience.


            It is at times like this that the old song refrain should be; “Rain, Rain come and stay, bring on my adventures for this day.”