Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Odd little towns in NY

Ardsley is one of those winding street towns that go on and on and wind up either nowhere or in places that are amazing.  Like today, I wound up with both aspects.  Going one way, this street lead to a tiresome series of other streets of nothing houses and dinky stores, but going the opposite direction, this same street lead me to a winding road that wound up on the Hudson River Gorge with a view of Manhattan and the George Washington Bridge in the distance.  A lovely moment.

Of course, then I tried to get to JFK from there...and got SO turned around and screwed up, it took me twice as long as it did to get out of the city.  The map I had didn't mother to mention that the city has names instead of numbers for its freeways and bypasses, so first I wound up going through the Bronx when I should have gone through New Rochelle and then I was headed back to Manhattan instead of Jamaica...and it only escalated from there.  So I got off the friggin' freeway at Queens Blvd since I knew that would lead me back to the Van Wyck Expressway...only it didn't...because it wasn't NAMED that when I got to the I missed it and had to scramble to find my way back.

Why the hell anyone would want to even consider driving in NYC unless they had to is beyond me, but this town's got more cars than LA and drivers that are twice as vicious with traffic that LA would be hard pressed to match.

But somehow I made it then went looking for Coney Island since I didn't have to turn the car in for a few hours...and wound up in Rockaway.  I have no idea how...but at least I was able to backtrack.  And I did get a glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean and NY beaches...and they are butt ugly.  I'm spoiled by the beaches of Malibu and Santa Monica; these things were boring and surrounded by berms of grass and fences and people with a hand out asking you to pay $12 for the privilege of sitting on a public beach.  I ignored them and took some photos and left.

I like NYC but I would never want to live here.  Not unless I had a six-figure salary and no bills...because everywhere you turn it costs you double what it costs anyplace else.  Want a nice dinner?  Minimum $30 per person unless you go to a MacDonald's.  Also expect the subway scanners to cheat you out of a fare at least once a week, as happened to me, yesterday.  And there are long stretches of nothing sprinkled with long stretches of everything you could want.  And the tourists will drive you nuts.

But that's just my impressions from the few times I've been here.  And I get the strong feeling I'd have a hard time writing if I was here.  So that's another minus.

But on the plus side... it IS the city that never sleeps.  Period.  And has arts out the I do like that.  LOTS.

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