It was Tuesday. Yes, Autumn. Yes, New York City. But it certainly didn’t look or feel anything like this. Add 5,000 cars. And move the map to the FDR, the East River Drive.
I’m one hour and 20 minutes on the road and Waze is signaling that I’m still 30 minutes away. 1:50 for a 0:45 min ride. And now, the crush of the morning rush. My lower back is stiff. There’s a nagging kink in my neck. And, I can’t settle. I shift left, then right. I grab my water bottle, take a pull. Tap my fingers on the console. I glance at my watch. I’m going to be late. Didn’t count on this delay. I push the pace. DK won’t be late.
If you’ve never driven the East Side Highway, think Daytona 500 with a crudely straightened 3-lane track. Three lanes made for 2.5. Traffic, sardines, tightly packed. There’s zero room for a slip, no room for wandering. Hugging your left shoulder is a 4-foot cement girder offering a bumper car cushion. Drains (sink holes) are distributed every 1000 feet to release rain water. Off your right shoulder, another car – open your window and finger brush the door panel. You grip the wheel, white knuckles, and Glare, eyes panning up front, left, right and down (especially down to avoid the abyss) and then back again. The Gotham Death March. I push the pace with the cabbies, we dart in and out, looking to gain one car length, maybe two.
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