July 29, 2006: My First Time in the Bronx

Today is quite busy for what is supposed to be a relaxing Saturday in New Jersey. Dominica is still in Geneseo for the weekend so I am all alone. I was up kind of late last night after going out with the guys so I slept in this morning and relaxed. I did a little work this morning and then got ready and drove out to Lebanon.

I got lunch at the luncheonette in town and then went up to do some additional paperwork for the condo at the Heights of Lebanon. Spending tons more money today. I don’t like having to do that.

From Lebanon I drove straight out to the Bronx to spend the afternoon hanging out with Phil Kriebel whom I have not seen in at least two years since he left Washington, D.C. The drive should have only taken just over an hour but it ended up taking closer to three! Traffic going across the George Washington Bridge in Upper Manhattan was backed up for miles and we just sat for an hour or so. It was unbelievably hot as well with the ambient temperatures around the car climbing to over 107 degrees in the shade!

It was well after five in the afternoon when I finally arrived at Phil’s apartment in the Bronx. This is actually my first time ever coming to the Bronx. One time in the late 90’s Andy and I drove from Rochester to Rye Harbor, New Hampshire to get fried shrimp at Ray’s and on the way we passed through the Bronx on US95 but we never got off of the highway and it was in the middle of the night so that really doesn’t count. New York City was not even remotely on the way from Rochester to New Hampshire but Andy had never been to the city so we had run down just to park the car in Weehawken, take the ferry to Manhattan, eat dinner at Mars 2112 on Times Square, take the ferry back to New Jersey and head back on to the road. That was the night that we went to Providence, Rhode Island for the first time and discovered that Providence is the deadest town in the world. It felt like we were in one of those zombie movies where the city was still standing but all of the people were gone. It was crazy. There were no hotels or restaurants or anything open and no people anywhere. Very creepy. We had such a hard time finding anything open that we drove over the border in Massachusetts to find a hotel room and ended up getting stuck at the Shangri-La Motel for the night. What a pit that place was!

Once I found Phil’s apartment he, Moses and I went over to a little Italian place near there and got some dinner and then drove out to the waterfront on Eastchester Bay with a view of Throgg’s Neck Bridge and had drinks out on the outside deck. That is a really gorgeous area of the Bronx that I think few people outside of the city really know exists. People forget about the fact that the west end of Long Island Sound comes right into the city and that there is a huge amount of waterfront on the east and south side of the Bronx and on the north side of Queens. It was a little warm still but not nearly as bad as it had been on my drive up. We hung out for a few hours and I drove back home a little after nine.

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