Driving about Town (and the city….)

by Alice

Oh how under-appreciated are urban taxi drivers! 

I took my first Zipcar out for a spin today. Keyed in the parking garage code like a pro, tapped the Zipcar card to the windshield as instructed, and made my way to Jersey City’s Home Depot.


As a naive, public-transit user, I assumed it would be easier to drive than to PATH it over to this megastore across the tracks. Until I realized my destination was right in the midst of Holland Tunnel traffic. Even worse, I realized this at the same moment that I found myself in the middle of Holland Tunnel lanes — 7 lanes across! No escape!

Across the tunnel and into NYC I went, terrified, nail-biting, and constantly checking the clock, as I had only reserved the car for 2 1/2 hours. An hour later, I arrived in the Home Depot parking lot, safe and sweaty. 

A quick note: Driving in NYC wasn’t that bad; the Tunnel traffic was.

I brought home my wares from the glorious world of car-access: A grill, a box fan, a pile of framed prints from my old apartment, and various other treasures. When I began to gripe to myself about the hassle of parking, I tried to imagine lugging all of this stuff onto the subway and then carrying it several blocks. I stopped my griping.

Quite an adventure! I circled blocks looking for the best route among one-way streets, avoided bad neighborhoods in vain, and of course, accidentally crossed the state border. I ended up extending my reservation for another hour and a half. 

I think I’ll be better when I’m a more seasoned North Jersey driver. In the meantime, thank God for taxi drivers who know their way around better than I do!