ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK: How The Worst Car You Can Buy Today Saved Me From Living In Slight Discomfort

At approximately 19:44 on Tuesday, October 30th, 2012, I realized that Lower Manhattan (where I live) had sucked a big one for the last 24 hours. And according to announcements from the MTA, Con Ed, and King Bloomberg, it would continue to suck for the next few days. I made a decision to flee.

I decided I would head to my parents house in Pennsylvania, which is a lot like traveling back in time and avoiding Sandy altogether. I was fortunate enough to be at an office on 40th and Park, just above the cut-off line for power, sitting pretty with some sweet, sweet interwebz. I checked Amtrak, who was not only willing to sell me a ticket home for that night, but said absolutely nothing on their website about how ALL NORTHEAST SERVICE WAS CANCELLED. That seems like something you'd want to tell people, but hey, I don't run a transit system so who am I to say?


I switched to Hertz's website, which was showing cars available at a location just a block away from me. Having just dealt with Amtrak's unique announcement system, I called to confirm. Ho! Cars were indeed available! I booked straight away, rang up two friends also heading down Pennsylvania way, and went to pick up my chariot.

The wait was long, but I remained patient because, if you saw the green explosion the night before, you know Manhattan had just suffered a devastating Voldemort attack. I was in an understanding mood. E-Classes, a C250, and an S80 all left the office while I was waiting. What would I be assigned? Perhaps all they had left was a Panamera from the Premium Collection? It seemed only a matter of minutes before I would be leaving the island in one of the nicest cars I had ever driven.


The time now just past 21:00, I turned onto Second Avenue in a silver Chevy Impala. Driving below 40th was a whole new world, pitch black with no streetlights or stop signs. To cab drivers and BMW owners, this means they have the right of way, all the time, always. To the rest of us, it means drive cautiously. I made it back to my darkened home near Union Square, packed zombie-apocalypse style by flashlight, and met my friends to begin our journey.

Which, after getting above 34th street on the west side, was entirely uneventful. The Lincoln Tunnel was not only open but devoid of traffic, and 78 West was indistinguishable from Union Square. That is, very little traffic and no lights. We stopped at WaWa for some delicious hoagies, and all made it home safely by 2 AM in a car that is, shockingly, still on sale today.


Intern Thomas

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