Sunday, September 10, 2006

Month Four

Early one Friday morning I parked my car in my quiet neighborhood, another day of work complete, ready to wind down, when my horn, without provocation, honked. Yes, life imitates art, as in Little Miss Sunshine when the Volkswagon van starts doing it after Greg Kinnear honks the horn. Only, I never honk my horn. I never honk my horn.

It would do this off and on for the next few days. Also, my air conditioning started not working on levels 1, 2, or 3, but oddly, worked on 4.

Have I mentioned that Atlas Park mall management, and their hired security team, Securitas, are ridiculous beyond belief? My situation on Thursday nights is that I need to get my car out of the parking garage by a certain time, else pay the full day of parking to get out, so for the entire summer I had been parking my car in the oh-so-hallowed "circle" which is off limits to everyone except a select few. One night, I drove into the circle like always, and this frustrating exchange took place.

A Securitas guard I had never met before, and a valet guy (as the circle is now a parking lot open to the public, for a charge) descended on me to tell me I couldn't park there. I asked, "Since when?" No one bothered to answer me. The dumbass guard calls his "superior" and the sentiment over the radio is, "Why can't he park in the garage?" I get the same question from the ignorant, piece of shit guard after I clearly heard it over his radio. I say, "I can't park there all night." And then there's a "Why?" But no one wants to hear my answer. Finally, a decision is made that I will be allowed to park there, but in that way that makes it sound like I'm being done a favor. I fucking hate that worse than being told I can't park there at all.

The Securitas team is a bunch of blank fools and no one who works at Atlas truly enjoys their presence. I have talked to individual guys on the squad and they are OK people, but complete total drones unable to think for themselves. Logic is an uninvented concept. I have asked point-blank to several of them why the circle is such a big deal, and none of them knows. I have heard about eight hundred different rules concerning the circle--one says it's OK to park after hours, some say it's never OK to park there.

To sum up, it was time to get rid of my car. The car now back in Nashville, I use mass transit exclusively now. It takes more walking than ever, but I have built up a tolerance to pretty much all exhausting walking distances within reason. The cost of insurance, the parking garage, and gas are a memory. I pay much less to get a monthly MetroCard for mass transit use.

My car has probably cost me over a thousand dollars since I got here. And these factors were the last straw.

More about Atlas Park. This mall opened on April 27 and stores have trickled in here and there, but the place is nowhere near done. A huge construction site for yet another parking garage blocks a view on one side of the street, so many people who go by the place don't even know it's a functioning place of business. This has, I feel, hurt business there a great deal. The management team of this mall has got to be one of the more inept I have ever experienced.

With September came the arrival of L & N Liner Mike. You can ask him--a great deal of walking took place during his trip. The first day, the Yankees destruction of the Twins, 8-1, was witnessed, with ARod hitting 2 HRs. The next day, I accompanied him on jaunts through the Frick Museum, Central Park, and an exhausting exploration of the Museum of Natural History, a daunting behemoth that certainly cannot be digested in one day. And then, pizza at Lombardi's, considered to be among the best in New York. Let me sure doesn't suck. The next day, Mike went to more sites while I watched movies at the IFC Center near Washington Square--This Film is Not Yet Rated and the Akira Kurosawa film The Hidden Fortress. Then, Indian food at Salaam Bombay, and a trip on the Staten Island Ferry.

The next day--Bronx Zoo and Botanical Gardens, then a trip to Shea to watch short-lived glory of the Braves beating the Mets 5-0 on a one-hitter (there was a doubleheader on Wednesday after a rainout where the Mets simply beat the Braves like a drum). And there was much walking that day too. Bronx Zoo and Botanical Gardens are more behemoth institutions where you can't remember the last time you sat down.

I always like to include characters in my monthly updates. Here's a snippet:

Woman in the Bronx at a bus stop, watching a handicapped man get on: "You have to let them on first. They also don't have to pay a fare." I said, "That's a good deal," and I knew it as soon as it came out of my mouth that the self-righteous comeback would be, "Well, it's not a good deal at all...they're in a wheelchair," as if in any way this is what I meant. Still, I chuckled.

In the movie Crank, a black employee sitting next to me watching the public sex scene that takes place in front of a bunch of Chinatown gawkers, loving every minute of it, boisterously remarks, "I'm telling you, it's going down in Chinatown!"

Also, today, watched the Jets and Titans at the Sly Fox Inn, which is right down the street. Sly Fox has NFL Sunday Ticket, so I will be frequenting it every Sunday. Well, maybe--if the Titans want to replay Super Bowl 34 every weekend, I may not watch.


At 9/10/2006 11:21:00 PM, Blogger Mike said...

An interesting update, as always. I'm afraid I may have overdone it with the walking, but at least it's gotten me in better shape for the soccer league that starts this week.


Post a Comment

<< Home