Saturday, March 26, 2005

Road Hazards

3/23/2005 I had to replace two out of the four tires I had just bought in September in Monticello, NY. I was in no-man's land, between Exit 46 and Exit 48 (on the Long Island Expressway, apparently "no Exit" 47, Sartre would have laughed) when the front went out on one of my new Bridgestones. I managed to get into the "Emergency Stopping Only" shoulder and jacked up the car next to the speeding-by traffic and put the spare on. I got off the Long Island Expressway, and after choices offered at the gas station/convenience center of local places that might fix a tire, went past Old Bethpage Village Restoration, into a Gulf station on Manetto Hills and Old Country Road. I was surprised, the busy station was being run by a nice younger woman. She offered to replace the same tire for $89 plus and since I had replaced all four in Monticello, NY after a road hazard there punctured a sidewall and I barely made it into another auto center there, I said OK. Then we went outside, her and I, and I explained I would like to be the one opening and closing the rear hatch on my 1983 black Volvo wagon, and noticed a bubble in the sidewall of the rear tire. Her and the mechanics agreed that would be from potholes, and would I like another tire, which then they sent out again for. Both beads were ripped, exposing steel. As I pulled back later onto the Expressway, I didn't get very far when traffic halted near the Huntington exit at 49, I think. There were 2 or 3 police cars, a large NY State vehicle, with strange bumpers, and as we slowly went by in one lane, a small flatbed truck with two guys shoveling a small pile of "hot patch" into some of the holes in the road. Later, I read in Newsday, that the guy who did "The Big Dig" in Boston, MA was supposed to be responsible for finishing all the work on the Long Island Expressway too! Can't they spread these contracts around a bit! But that "lawnmower entrepreneur" I'm thinking of calling these Nixon-inspired "ragged dick" guys (Horatio Alger, etc. Former Mayor Giuliani threw out the people unloading fish, over pennies, in the Fulton Fish Market, put one in charge, handed him City owned and not yet registered hi-los, and, turns out the guy was wanted in Federal Court! Which was against the "new" law the Mayor had after parading this guy around who had started by mowing lawns in Garden City, Long Island I think) had died and the Expressway (LIE), way behind schedule. (The Fish Market is moving to Hunts Point, Herman Wouk's "home town" here in the Bronx soon.) Scandal is afoot in Boston too as the largest single construction project in the history of the United States is springing leaks, so many people are afraid to drive "in it".

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