N.Y. Tourette – Days 7 & 8

Posted by admin on July 13th, 2011 filed in batman, travel

Friday, July 8th to Saturday, July 9th

After the excitement of Thursday’s parade and fair, we took it easy Friday. Our tires were scheduled to arrive, but we were undecided on whether to set out after their installation or to wait until Saturday morning to leave for New York.

Friday morning we drove the Mini to Kenny’s auto shop in Louisa then walked to the local coffee shop and worked online as we waited for the tires to arrive.  When FedEx finally delivered them, Jim talked with the mechanic and confirmed his evolving suspicion that the tires were tubeless tires and the wheels were sealed. If you recall our adventure in Jacksonville, this news (which meant the tires didn’t need tubes) was both upsetting (as we had wasted several hours in Jacksonville in search of 10″ tubes) and comforting (knowing we wouldn’t have to do it again).

We returned to the house, very pleased with our new tires, but since it was almost 5pm we chose to delay our departure until 8am the next morning.

We woke early Saturday morning, packed our things and said our goodbyes. In the Mini, Jim started the engine and we began pulling out of the (long) driveway ahead of schedule. I waved out the window, saying “Bye! Love you!!”, then the car died.

Jim couldn’t get it going again, so I pushed it back to it’s original parking spot as we apologized and laughed. We got to work on the car, checking everything we could think to check, and finally after several attempts at starting it up she came to life. My uncle Bryan pointed out that it was now 8AM and we joked about the car’s punctuality, uncertain which of the changes we had made (if any) were responsible for the successful start up. After another round of hugs and some uncertain goodbyes, we headed east toward Richmond, then north toward D.C., passing another fair with a neat, roadside rollercoaster on the way.

We skirted around D.C. then headed east toward Annapolis, opting to follow Hwy 301 across the Chesapeake Bay and up along a nice, quite stretch toward Wilmington. There we caught I-95 to Philadelphia and followed it up toward Manhattan, eager to arrive in NYC.

We exited the NJ Turnpike, grabbed some gas and got in line for the toll at the Holland Tunnel. As expected, the traffic was a mess (the road pares down from something like 8-9 lanes to two through the tunnel…

… which is surprisingly simple compared to the train yard just north of the tunnel entrance.)

While in line, we were cut off several times and almost run over by a bus once,

but there were also plenty of people delighted by the Mini and happy to let us in. Once we made it into the tunnel, it took us probably 40-45 minutes to make it the five miles to a friend’s place in Brooklyn. By the time we parked on Havemeyer, we were covered in sweat and the Mini was running hot (but still looked great and took up only half a parking spot).

We met up with my friend, Shawn, then walked to find sushi and give the Mini a rest. After maybe an hour of walking, eating and visiting, we returned to the Mini, said goodbye to Shawn, started the car and made it four or five blocks before we broke down (just after passing Hope St, ironically).

I pushed the car to the curb while Jim steered, then I unpacked the tool bag and oil rag from the boot while he opened the bonnet. We proceeded to run through the checklist as locals stopped to stare at, pose with and photo the Mini with her hood up. Though we were upset at the breakdown, the surrounding neighborhood and its inhabitants made the experience very entertaining. Nevertheless, it took about two or two and a half hours of tinkering and consulting our Mini manual and with Jim’s dad on the phone to get it running again. We thought we would be stuck in the city for the evening, but luckily we got back on the road a little before 9pm, just as it was getting dark.

We hightailed it out to my brother’s place in East Setauket looking forward to a good night’s rest, but in the meanwhile, I started work on a rap song for the circumstances:

Broke down in Brook-lyn
and our dizzy won’t spin.
No spark to the heart
of my Mini Tin Tin.
Two wheels in the gutta
while the starter – sputtas,
missin’ the times
when she ran like butta.

(to be continued… … maybe.)

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.