And I don’t love dirty water. AND....I really hate that song too. But seriously, Boston is not 8D69‘s home - it fits in about as much as a goldfish in a tank full of piranha. Well, maybe I am exaggerating just a little. What a day…I convinced my darling Dominican diva, Orianna, to make the trek with me into Boston and then onward to Cape Cod and Rhode Island, thus completing 8D69’s roll through all of New England. Ordinarily not a very big deal, but…in a car pushing 350,000 pounding miles, trust me….sometimes your knuckles hurt and your ears bleed from constantly surveying sounds and squeaks that might turn to something that sounds more like an ER flatline. Nothing worse than the sound of silence when the key is turned in the on position and it wouldn’t be much fun having old 8D69 seeing the countryside on the back of a flat bed. I was a bit nervous on this trip, because while I fixed the left rear wheel bearing a few weeks ago, the right side started failing earlier in the week…with it’s slight grind that you can hear and feel, coupled with the nasty smell of dripping gear lube oil. Gear lube oil smells like death with a tricky sprinkling of sugar; it smells kind of sickly sweet, not unlike a dirtbag’s sweaty armpits yet it permeates your senses and skin pores. But…I said the hell with it - we’re going into the lion’s den of Fenway Park…or at least as close I can, especially since it was an actual home game day. The weather was perfect and I hadn’t really taken the car anywhere lengthy since Montreal and I really wanted to get a prime rib at a restaurant there called the Chart House.
The day started out a bit rough….Orianna was not a happy camper about riding in the taxi (as my previous blog outlines), but, eh…she finally just gave in, well,…once I told her about the Chart House anyways; I knew that would work. We bombed our way first into New Hampshire and I made a pit stop to drain MY gear lube oil and to check on the cab’s. No doubt about it…my axle shaft seal was leaking but good, but not enough to alarm me just yet. Always strikes me so funny in a day and age of combating DUI, that the State of New Hampshire has the wisdom to actually have a FULL liquor store next door to a “Safety Rest Stop” on the side of an interstate.
Once we left, a couple of Harley Davidsons’ pulled up to my left and they were gawking at the car and one of them slowed staring at me and then pointed right at me. Not sure if this was an ubiquitous salutation or some sort of casual bird. Ori has not really experienced any degree of overbearing attention in this car as of yet, and took offense to the long stare and weird point, and started getting all hood about it. As they both throttled the gas and lurched onward I noticed they were displaying their colors; Hells Angels (NH has a big contingency of Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs believe it or not). As we approached the I-93 toll booths, I couldn’t believe it…they just gunned it right through….didn’t even slow down - were just like…eh..we’re Hells Angels…so FU. I thought some of doing the same thing in my taxi and just yelling out the window -”I’m with them, so FU!”, but, thought it best to pay the buck and do the whole polite back and forth ‘thank you…no thank YOU’ bit.
So…Boston on the horizon - we rolled in past the Boston Garden and we seemingly cruised like the wind unnoticed, save for passengers in vehicles passing us.
Boston’s Taxis are all white - a few yellow ones here and there, but generally, are white. Boston was hopping busy with the nice weather, and the only times we stuck out like fresh meat at Shawshank, was at stop lights. As is normal and customary, people would stare at the car, a few here and there taking a snap shot of it, and cabbies next to us and their passengers would crank their heads in perplexed wonderment. I don’t know if people are more perplexed that a NYC Taxi is so far from home, or the fact a Vermont license plate is attached to it. Ori, of course, was trying her best to just go along with it. Actually, Orianna is like an owl when in a car; she only looks forward. And not only do her eyes fail to dart left or right, she is like an owl with a spinal injury - her head rarely turns as well. Good thing too….the people taking pics would send her into ORBIT; so, I just kept my mouth shut.
After bebopping around trying to find Fenway, I came within an inch of knocking some asian guy in a little smart car out of the rhetorical ballpark, after he pulled right out in front of me and I was busy looking at a map. I stopped in one of the most odd places to park a car to check the map.
Getting my bearings, I motored on and found Fenway. Now, I am going to carefully broach this subject, by first stating I am not *completely* into the whole Boston vs. New York rivalry thing. Since I am from Vermont, it is considered “Red Sox Nation”. Everything up here is Boston oriented as far as sports go; my immediate family is nutso about them. I have always liked the Red Sox - but, for the past few years, I have looked past the arrogance and high salaries of NY, and quietly grew fond of them. Funny really….you would think I would be the type of guy to be rooting for the Kansas City Royals, who are akin to being the retired NYC Taxi’s of MLB; poor guys can‘t catch a break or a ball.
But for today only, I went in as a Yankees man….I brought a Yankees hat with me and placed it on the back window sill, and thought I would park my car right at the edge of Yawkey Way and time how long it would take for someone to snub me. Ori, to my surprise was all for it, but didn’t want anything to actually do with it, so I dropped her off down the street (God forbid someone see her get out of it) and she walked up to where I said I would park to snap a photo for me
Within about a minute of my pulling into the Yawkey Way entrance, a woman walked up to me with a scowled looking face….I thought this would be the big one and braced myself for a potentially heated beratement. However, she walked up to my window and asked if I was available (for a fare). I shook my head and didn’t say a word, to which she walked away. I was going to write about a number of observations and small talk that I experienced with a few passersbys, but - eh....it doesn't matter. In the spirit of good sportsmanship, I'll just let it go. There was no Paul Revere moments of warning others of my impending arrival, nor were their any attempts to actually KILL me, so....yes NY fans, I dedicate my parking job to you - you’re welcome.
So, perhaps you’re asking yourself out loud…what was the point of this? I mean, it’s not like I pulled up waving Yankees flags and inciting riots. I’m kind of an odd duck when it comes to examining the human spirit, so I just liked the idea of pulling up to the guard door of all things Boston in something that is very clearly New York - just to see how long it would take for someone to get all wacko crazy about it. Besides, what else was I going to do…go to the aquarium? Go to the Museum of Science for the 100th time, buy a messy sausage grinder at Quincy Market and fail to find an available seat? Re-Read my own blog? No.
Don’t get me wrong, I like Boston - it’s a great place, super friendly and easy to get around with lots of things to do in a fairly condensed area. My brother gave up on NYC after 20 years of growing gray hair, and moved to Boston. New York too is a great place, super NOT friendly, but also easy to get around. Once Orianna and I left the area of Fenway, we went back downtown where I could reward her for doing something completely outside her comfort zone by being a good egg and driving with me coupled with the whole taking pics thing. I think it was worth it, and so did she. Although, at $32.99, who WOULDN'T think it worth it.
Once we were done, we went back to the parking garage at post office square. It is the cleanest parking garage on EARTH, plus…it’s only 9 bucks all day on a weekend…try THAT in New York. Plus, there isn’t some scrub ala Ferris Bueller that hops in your car and takes it away three blocks down the street One nice thing about parking a NYC Taxi in a parking garage is you can’t ever lose your car.
Okay, so….having had enough of Boston - we cruise one more time to find the highway, and drove past the Massachusett's statehouse just up the street from the famous bar, Cheers, which is really just a room the size of my bathroom stuffed with people expecting to find Norm. For those who do not know, it is small. VERY small. And nothing at all as depicted on the television show.
Finding the highway, we stopped near Fanueil Hall, where, as I sort of feared, many many people took photos of us. Ori just muttered with her mouth not moving like a ventriloquist "Get. Me. Out. Of. Here." So....once the light turned green, we submerged ourselves into the greatest construction debacle in the history of mankind, the Big Dig.
Heading south out of Boston, I steered the taxi to the southeast to hit Cape Cod. Unfortunately, the battery on the camera was dying (and it is the rechargeable kind, it won‘t take regular batteries), so….not much to show in terms of pics there. We cruised around a short time and since the sun was starting to set, I decided to head south west to Providence, Rhode Island, since a roll into there would be the last state in New England my cab had not yet rattled into. The camera had enough juice for one pic left - and, of course, it came out blurry.
Since I was getting nervous about my axle, I thought it best to not push things as much as I already had, and wheel the car back home. So....after a rather long day on the road, I marveled at just how boring the day actually was. Sort of like this entire blog post. So, with that....I bid New England adieu, and thus start my plans to head much much further south. Thanks for reading! People are reading this, right? RIGHT?
Interesting Fact: Today, I had a total of five Porsche Carrera’s pass me. Each person driving those cars looked like they felt they were just FABulous. I also saw three times as many other similarly high end cars. But guess how many retired NYC Taxi‘s I saw..? That‘s right - none. None at all. BOOM!