Sunday, December 14, 2008

Greazy Tony to The Road: "I Want to be On You!"

When I was a young lad of just 17 or 18 I loved nothing more than jumping in my car and just driving. Sometimes I would head south to the Jersey shore, no matter the season. I would often nip off to New York City, even though that meant parking in my father's garage and walking past his riverfront office in Hoboken to get the PATH train. Of course, gas was less than a dollar back then, and my Honda got 35 MPG highway so these little trips of me barely cost me one pizza delivery's worth of tips.

I have a strong case of wanderlust, but I come by it honestly. My old man used to love to pile us all in the van and drive us to this little restaurant he loved on the shore. And god knows how many times he took us into the City for no reason. I don't know how much gas was in those days, but sufficed to say if it was $3.98 we would have just taken a walk. I'm sure the same would have been true for me in the mid-90's when I used to drive off on my constitutionals. Lord knows, over the last few years Inky and I have severely cut down on our roaming, due in no small part to the price of petrol.

All this serves as a backdrop to the day I had yesterday. With gas hovering at a buck and a half (which we all know is temporary) and Inky out of town I had the perfect opportunity to go for a driveabout. I gathered all the new CD's I bought this year so I could review them for my annual list and at 9:00 AM I hit the road, bound for New York. I couldn't resist the opportunity to make a pit stop in Allentown for some Yocco's dogs and pierogis, which were like my appetiser.

Next, I stopped in my hometown and did my usual drive around to be sure that everything is still relatively the same. After I talked to my mom on the phone, I went and got a few cannoli, one of which I left at my father's grave site, because he wouldn't ever want flowers. Then it was back on the road as I picked up 440 and made for Staten Island. XL called me just as I was paying the $8.00 toll to go over the Outerbridge Crossing, it certainly never cost that much when I was a kid.

I finished my talk with XL as I was approaching the Verrazano and soon I was in Brooklyn. I did a little Christmas shopping for XL in newly trendy again borough, and had a bite to eat at The Pie Shop, near Prospect Park. When I was done in Brooklyn I gave my regards to Flatbush Avenue and crossed the Manhattan bridge in to, well, Manhattan. As I drove along Canal St. I couldn't believe how many people I observed standing in front of three card monty tables, and buying knock-off handbags and watches. There is one thing that hasn't changed since I was a kid. It was slow going to the Holland Tunnel, but the next thing I knew I was back in Jersey, heading west.

Along the way home I talked to Inky on the phone, topped off my road-food intake with a few more Yocco's dogs and listened to more great 2008 music. I got back to York shortly after 6 confidant that I had shaken the urge to hit the road... for a week or two.


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