Thursday, June 23, 2011

Driving Into New York City...Part Two: The West Side (don't read if you're a hipster)

Just as the suburbs fade behind you, the bored look goes through a bit of a metamorphosis.

As the yellow arm of the Easy Pass Lane raises, admitting you to the greatest city on earth, to be bored would make no sense.

Apprehensive? Sure. Awestruck? Absolutely. Bored? Never.

I sneak in via the back door--the west side. 

The West Side Highway which skirts along the Hudson River and coaxes you right into the Battery Tunnel downtown, is the easiest thoroughfare in New York. To your left, stands the noisy cacaphony of the city---simultaneously repellant and alluring. To your right, is the peaceful expanse of the river, restful and calming.

Oh, hold on...there's a steady line of women wearing almost nothing but their abs, taking their daily run along the water's edge. Half the drivers are staring at them and drooling and the other half, to which I belong, are mentally reminding them that middle age, lack of will power and the free M&M market might blur those goddam abs one day, bitches.
City on one side, river on the other.

Then there's the construction downtown that's affecting the traffic uptown, as well as the lights that -- every once in a while (when you're in the biggest hurry), appear to be completely off sequence.

Crawling and honking from red to red to red, you begin to plot against the life of the misanthropic little prankster who's eating his sliced turkey, no mayo on a roll in a dingy office and playing with the traffic lights in between playing with himself. 

And he's doing it just to screw with YOU. 

The Circle Line--a great way to enjoy the city!
So, you tootle along. You watch the tourists run like bats out of hell across the highway on their way to the Circle Line for a boat trip around the island and the hipsters by the piers--once the entry point for shipping traffic but now the playground for young New Yorkers with enough money to pay between eight and ten bucks a game.

Based on what most people are wearing, the uniform to bowl must be skinny jeans, crazy eye glasses and a small crocheted hat.
Waiting to bowl

As I hurry past the the Hustler compound and cover my nose and mouth, hoping to avoid inhaling the spores of any sexually transmitted diseases that have escaped through the vents and the meat packing district which now packs meat of a different kind, I find myself passing the spot that held the Twin Towers.

Try as I might, I can never keep the tears from flowing.

There is lots of activity down there over seen by dozens of cops, many of whom look way too scrawny to have passed the NYPD's physical tests or a new breed of muscular behemoth cop, biceps bulging from short sleeves, looking way too pumped to have passed the drug tests.

I observe everything from behind my rolled up windows and locked doors. Even though my sons tell me that the city is different, that crime is down and people are way more chill, I grew up in the era when New York looked exactly like the city depicted in the movie Taxi Driver starring my ex boyfriend, Robert DeNiro. And that wasn't good.

You kept your doors locked so no one hopped in to rob you.

According to my sources, you only get robbed these days by hipsters down by the bowling alley at the Chelsea Piers because no one can afford the rates.

Stay tuned for the final installment tomorrow.....
"$10.25 so I can bowl or I end you."


  1. Tootle- I hadn't heard that word since forever. It's a good one.

  2. I tootle everywhere, Michele!

    By the way, I wish we could sahre some of our rain with you!

  3. I tootle too!
    Please tell me I don't have to see Taxi Driver in order to visit New York??!!