i was in a hotel in brooklyn. wrappers and empty bottles of mini-bar extravagances on the bed and my laptop in front of me. i was furious at mapquest.
mapquest said that it was impossible to go from 235 meeker avenue to the address on 63 westbrook to see my facebook friend michele piersiak if i used a car. and yet, when i looked at the map, it looked fairly straightforward to me. cab it to the manhattan ferry station, take the ferry and take another cab in staten. somehow mapquest seemed to say with a frisson of nearly gallic contempt: mais non! i then asked mapquest about public transportation.
“Non, Non, Non!” mapquest squealed. “quel horreur!”
so i said please, mr. mapquest, what if i walked to the staten island ferry station and took the ferry and then walked from there to my friend’s house?
“Four hours seven minutes,” he replied. “Nine miles.”
“I betcha i can do it in under three,” i said.
i wasn’t figuring on getting lost, sidewalks closed for construction, my feet hurting, my bag heavy, and then there was the williamsburg bridge:
and after i got across the bridge it was just a matter of asking ten different new yorkers where the ferry station was. ten different new yorkers, ten different answers. i was starting to think that mapquest had severely misunderestimated (to use a bushism) the travel time.
however, i got to the ferry station and determined that the ferry is a pleasure never to be missed. and it’s free!
once on the island, i walked through the downtown, through quiet neighborhoods, through little Sri Lanka, past a muslim day school, a golf course, and a river. by the time i reached my facebook friend michele piersiak’s house, i had done my time just as mapquest had predicted.
i might have regarded this as a failing. i had destroyed my feet. i had been stubborn when i should have known that mr. mapquest is always right. i should have taken a cab.
but now i don’t regard that as a misadventure.
hurricane sandy has destroyed the ferry station. island residents have no gas, their homes and businesses are flooded, the power is out, there are buildings that will never be rebuilt. i was privileged to get to see staten island as it was. so i look back on a miraculous walk.
although next time maybe a more comfortable pair of shoes.
November 6th, 2012 at 5:46 pm
From now on I will express contempt only in French!
I think you’re awesome.
November 6th, 2012 at 8:51 pm
This was WELL worth waiting for. The “miracle” analogy is very inspiring. AND I’m glad you got back on the horse! GO GIRL!!
November 6th, 2012 at 8:59 pm
wow – a miracle indeed. See, sometimes stubborness does pay off!
November 9th, 2012 at 9:13 am
wishing I could have walked with you!
November 10th, 2012 at 2:39 pm
Hello miss X. Do what I do. Make her a reason for taking a walk in the morning- OR evening–or BOTH. and if you tell her what times you’ll be walking, and ask her to be thinking of you during those times, I’m SURE she’d be happy to agree, than it would be almost like she’s there with you! NICE to see you out here again! 🙂
November 14th, 2012 at 4:46 pm
how you inspire me ArLynn, i think i would get you some comfortable shoes though :). I too get queasy on bridges, to walk across when people are whizzing by makes me queasy to think of it.
my oldest daughter, Caitlin, just moved to Brooklyn Oct 25. just in time for all the fun weather. she too is on her next big adventure, and like you, her enthusiasm is contagious. love you ArLynn – can’t wait to read about your next adventure.