Saturday, September 10, 2011

A few extras for Saturday's 9/11 column

Here's some links and such related to Flight 93:

Reader Tim Collie points out that Sandy Bradshaw, a flight attendant from Greensboro, died on Flight 93. Here's a little more about her.

Frank and Linda Guerra, the subjects of my column this morning, work with a nonprofit called 93 Cents for Flight 93. It's raising money for the permanent memorial that opens in Shanksville today, and it also brings together young kids and senior citizens to talk about Flight 93 and 9/11.

Finally, a quick travel note.

Because this trip is taking me to several different places -- Washington, Shanksville, New York -- I'm driving instead of flying. Which means that after I left Shanksville on Friday, I needed to drive to my hotel in Lower Manhattan.

I'm sure there are places in Jersey where I could've left my car for three days and taken the train into the city. But I didn't get my act together enough to figure that out... plus I sort of liked the challenge of driving in New York City.

I didn't have a GPS. My cell phone mapped out the route, but it didn't follow along like a GPS does; I had to punch a button to figure out where to turn next. Just as I got into the Holland Tunnel, I got the low-battery warning on my cell. And within two minutes after coming out of the tunnel, I had taken a wrong turn.

Pretty soon I had no idea where I was. The optimist part of me said: It's OK, Manhattan is an island, you can't really get THAT lost. The pessimist said: Dude, you are so screwed.

It turns out that, as far as the biggest city in America goes, traffic on Friday night is not that bad. After 15 minutes of rambling around I found a place to pull over and get my bearings. (For the NYC-savvy among you, I was trying to get to the Battery Park area and ended up going the wrong way on West Boulevard.) The phone battery was way down in the red zone now, but at least I had a new route. I got onto Broadway, curved around toward the street I needed... and didn't see a street sign.

My new rule of New York driving: If you come up on a street, and it doesn't have a sign, that's where you should turn.

Instead I hesitated, then kept going straight. Missing your turn in Lower Manhattan is not just a matter of circling the block. I think I made 11 turns before I finally got back to the street with no sign, turned left... and there was my hotel.

I looked down as I pulled in and my phone had just died.

To answer your questions: I did stop and ask a cop. He said "Hmm, I think your street is over that way," pointing directly behind me.

And I probably don't need to drive in Manhattan again. Although, I have to say, by the time I got there I felt a little like Indiana Jones.


tarhoosier said...
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Anonymous said...

Nobody cares today or tomorrow about your lame lack of planning, Rand McNally. How about a phone charger like most people? Blog about something worthwhile and meaningful on this important time of reflection. Not the time for your narcissism.

Anonymous said...

Public transportation over driving in NYC anyday. Also, the foot cops are the best people to ask for directions. I always enjoy your columns. Charlotte sometimes seems like it's full of bitter haters. I know that's not the case, I think those people just complain more.