life in and around NYC is insane

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Elmsford (shudder) NY

So after dinner we went back to the hotel and did . . .nothing. Drew was really tired -- today was the last day of school, and he really took a beating this semester.

So I'm hanging out, just fooling around on the iPad, and I notice . . .

My weather app is retrieving data from Elmsford, NY.

Now, I'm sure it's a perfectly nice town, but please keep me away from there!

Labor Day, it must have been 1985 or 1986. Drew and I were dating, we weren't married yet.

We planned a day trip to the New York Renaissance Festival with a group of friends. It was me and Drew, Marc and his then-girlfriend Susan, and Dave and his fiancée Helen (I don't think they were married yet) and her two school-aged children.

The plan was to meet at Helen's condo, pack up the cars and head to the faire. Drew had a very large cooler, as we planned a picnic lunch.

That's where the trouble began. In those days you had two different keys for your car, one that worked on the doors and the trunk, and a separate key for the ignition. Drew loaded up the trunk and slammed it shut, with the trunk key still inside the trunk.

We tried to open the trunk by taking down the back seat, without success. Drew's spare key was at his house, but there was no one home to bring it to him.

Besides, we were already behind schedule, starting out a lot later than we intended.

So we decided we'd just have to buy lunch, since the cooler was now inaccessible.


So Dave and Helen and the kids were in their car, and the rest of us in Drew's car. Finally we were on our way. We had smooth sailing...

...until Elmsford.

That's when Drew's car broke down. On the ramp leading to the Thruway and the Tappan Zee.

On Labor Day.

We told Dave and Helen to go ahead without us, no use in ruining their day, too. The four of us waited for the tow truck.

Then we spent the afternoon at the mechanic's shop as he tried to fix Drew's car. At first he thought it was the battery...the starter...the distributor cap. Turned out to be the alternator, and he didn't have the parts he needed to fix it.

Then he tried to break the lock on the trunk so we could get the cooler, but only succeeded in making a dent in the car.

So we called Drew's parents, back on Long Island, to come with their big old station wagon and rescue us. Took refuge in a diner while we waited for them.

Drew didn't get his car back for almost a week.

So it became a sort of joke among us. Or a superstition. Every time one of us drove up the Thruway, we'd shudder as we drove past the exit for Elmsford. Never want to go there again!


And then about two years ago . . .

I was invited to a family bar mitzvah in Rockland County. I planned to drive up the night before and stay in a hotel.


The only place I could find was in. . . Elmsford.

No, the car didn't break down, exactly. But the muffler started acting weird. And when I took the car to the mechanic a few days later, I found out I needed a new muffler . . ,AND an expensive repair to the brake lines.


Not going there again!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad.

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