I live on an Island.

Posted on: December 8, 2011

I live on an island. Like a real island that is not connected to any other land except by very long narrow bridges. It is not a luxurious island, although it does cost a ridiculous amount of money to live in a tiny apartment…but that’s not the point.

So this island, with a population of about half a million people has 4 bridges. Only. Four. Bridges. And 3 of them do not even lead into the state in which it belongs to. So there isONEbridge that travels to its own state. Is there something wrong with this picture? Apparently not, because not only do the “lucky” residents of this island (all .5 million of them) get to deal with the lack of ways in which to flee…they get to pay $12-13 a pop for doing so.

I swear I am missing something here. I was not born nor was I raised on this island so I am not as accustom to these traveling conditions as most here are. Of course it graciously provides you with the option to travel to and from it for free via ferry. And really there is not much more to say about that. No really, I can drive to the ferry (which is in a not so accessible part of the island surrounded by not so welcoming neighborhoods); pay to park my car, walking (through parking lots bigger than the mall, up and down a ton of flights of stairs) onto the boat which runs on a very inconvenient schedule into lower Manhattan (where you are then slapped on the ass and told good luck). If there are not at least fifty things wrong with that previous sentence I must be crazy.

I understand that this complaint can make me sound like a bit of a “princess” (Moi? Travel by public ferry??) But seriously? I have more horror stories about that riding that thing than I do about planning a wedding in another state with divorced parents on both sides while finishing grad school, working full time. And that yields pretty scary stories.

Back to the bridges! As if the traffic in this over-crowded city built for pedestrians is not always a nightmare…an entire bridge was shut down due to an accident (no one was seriously injured). The polite highway sign informed me that all lanes are blocked and to use an alternate route.

Clearly the updater of this sign must have had a good laugh. An alternate route? As in: your suggestion to me as I attempt to travel to a meeting for work that I gave myself over 2 hours to get to (this city traffic, man…2 hours to get some place that should take 20 mins) is that I should use an alternate route? Oh! Oh! That clarifies things. Thank you. Thank you for the laugh. My car’s flotation device is in the shop, so swimming across is out of the question. There are no exits left for me to exit in attempt to travel (along with thousands of other stranded communters) across the island, take an alternate bridge into a different state then travel around the entire metropolitan vicinity to get there. In the rain nonetheless.

Should I cry? Should I scream? Stomp my feet? Beep my horn? Put my car in park in the middle of the highway and blast Christmas music over my Pandora app?

I did the last one. Back spasms, neck pain, leg cramps and all. And you know what? I made it over that damn bridge. And only ½ hour late for my meeting! (InNew York Citytime that’s like being early!)

I still do not understand the “design” of this island. Hey! Here’s a lot of useless uneven land that used to be used as a toxic dump! Let’s cram as many people as possible on to it, charge a butt-ton of money to both live there and travel to it and instead of fix pot holes, traffic lights and street signs, just build more paper-thin new construction homes and recruit more residents!!

Yup. That is the island I call home. ButNew York Cityis my backyard, my playground. I have access to the best doctors, services and people. As long as I pay my dues and make it through that damn traffic.

And the question remains…how do you get to the other side?


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