But it has its weird twists and turns, quite literally. This past Friday, I had a gig in Brooklyn's Park Slope, followed by a quick one in Manhattan's TriBeCa. Mind you, things are still quite surreal there (on my way home from the last gig, I pulled up to a stop light next to Delicatessen restaurant, where part of the street was cordoned off for outdoor dining a-lá loosened COVID-19 regs, and I found myself idling almost cheek-to-jowl with folks sipping cocktails and nibbling on appetizers). My problem was thus: Los Googles was telling me there was crazy construction everywhere, and I needed to make a serious detour to get outta Dodge. And it was starting to get a bit dark out, Equinox-be-damned.
My "normal" route would be bouncing along Hudson Street and cutting right to the Holland Tunnel, then a bit of minor meandering across the Bayonne Bridge and out to the NJ Turnpike for 12 miles, then off to the Garden State Parkway. But noooo, not this time: I had to take an alternate route to the tunnel, which was okay, but once back in Joisey, Ms. Google pointed me to Rte 1-9, then 139, which I can only describe as possibly Dante's Forgotten Circle of Hell. Now, I know Newark: a town that's been through Hell and back itself, but I actually feel far safer walking its streets than speeding along its connected outer roads. Let's just say 1-9 and 139 are "character-building" in a manner not too dissimilar from endurance racing, particularly at night. I observed cars stopped on the shoulder numoerous times, at least twice on account of flat tires; I was sent through some crazy twists and turns, detour upon detour, over-and-underpasses, along broken bits of bitumen that crews were trying their best to repair right then and there, but that made things all the more surreal, and didn't I know there was still a pandemic being dealt with?
And, by the time I fond my way to the Turnpike, there was yet another surprise: the cars-only Express section of the 'Pike was closed en toto for maintenance/upgrading, shunting me to the Local section, and "running with the bulls"…the 18-wheeled variety. Mind you, this is along a heavily-industrial section of the Garden State, and there are a metric shit-ton o' semis slamming through, day and night.hauling tankers and containers and everything in-between. I texted Le Wife (hands-free, thankfully), that I was "a mouse among elephants" right there and then. Generally, I'm pretty calm around gigunda trucks where and when I'm dealing with just two or three, but fifteen or twenty, at night?
Thankfully, the Turnpike has gotten a lot of rebuilding love of late, and shortly I was along a sweet, smooth stretch where I got to pin Melody close to 80 and get myself off the Turnpike and onto the considerably more-serene Garden State Parkway for the remaining 23 miles to home. I've gotten to understand why lots of motorists regard North Jersey to be so nerve-wracking; I've written about the routes to and from the tunnels being a harrowing work-in-progress (a construction project that would put the Tower of Babel to shame), but it's a dragon I've managed to slay multiple times. But it's better in daylight. Way better.
Doesn't look like much from here...
The Bigger Picture: To-and-from.
Last edited by amateriat on Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:15 pm; edited 3 times in total