Sunday, July 1, 2007

Days like this

It is on days like this that I can forget nights like the last one.

As I lay awake sometime after 3 a.m., stirred for the eighth or ninth time by blaring car horns, it came to me. Some moments are pure hell, and right now we are on the precipice of one. This happens every few weeks or so, typically on a Saturday night. The traffic gets diverted either going into or out of the Lincoln Tunnel so it goes through an intersection right below our building. Several hundred feet below our building, but directly below it. As we overlook one of only three entries from Jersey into the city that never sleeps, neither do we on occasion.

The drivers, perhaps unfamiliar with the streets the detour is diverting them over, slow a bit as they get their bearings. This is an unforgivable sin for the locals, who see it as their God-given right to pound away on their car horns. Never mind that it's a violation of the vehicle code, which permits horn honking only in emergency situations (I used to teach traffic school in LA, of all places). Venting anger at the vehicle ahead of you that is moving slower than you want it to, however, is not an emergency under any definition.

If we had double-paned windows, rather than the ones installed when the tower was built in 1960, we might have slept peacefully through the night and never noticed the display of boorish behavior on the streets below. Even though we have a white noise machine that makes a nice whooshing sound that covers most outside noise, the high-pitched honks penetrated it easily. Oh well, life in the city, eh?

Ironically, we're looking at moving into the city for some peace and quiet. We've found some neighborhoods that seem affordable that don't border tunnels, highways and such, but don't have the view that we have (look again at photo above). Trade offs, life's overflowing with them. But who knows, the view may keep us right where we are. Here's another shot taken later today, where the buildings just seem to glow in the light from the sunset. No, that helicopter did not fly into the Chrysler Building. There's a helipad just to the right out of the frame of this picture along the water front.

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