Three for three (am, that is)
That’s right. Three days in a row of getting up at 3 am for work assignments. I never thought I would have survived such a brutal ordeal (is there such a thing as a non-brutal ordeal?), but somehow I did.
Monday’s assignment was on the east side on Manhattan, East 57th Street to be specific. Traffic on the Long Island Expressway wasn’t much at that ridiculously early hour and I was over the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge into Manhattan just about an hour after leaving home. Wary of getting another parking ticket – I think that the city won’t tow a car that has just two unpaid tickets, but I’m not actually sure – I spent about a half-hour cruising the blocks in the upper 50’s and lower 60’s east of Second Avenue looking for legal parking spaces. It was a classic good news/bad news scenario. The good news is that there is quite a lot of on-street parking in that area, the bad news is that all the spaces were taken. Finally, without much time to spare, I threw in the towel and parked in a reasonably priced garage on East 62nd. Paying for parking really ruffles my feathers, even though I get reimbursed. My trip home was easy enough, though I noticed that westbound Expressway traffic was an absolute mess due to road construction near Exit 34.
Tuesday it was off to White Plains. While it was a longer drive than to Manhattan there wouldn’t be any parking issues, so I left at the usual time. My route took me over the Throgs Neck Bridge, (obscene) tolls of course, and then to the Hutchinson River Parkway. Traffic was very light, more so than on Monday, and the entire trip took about an hour and twenty minutes. These very early work assignments reimburse for travel according to a distance formula derived from Google Maps rather than actual time on the road, so it’s not necessary for me to keep track of my travel time. Getting back home took rather longer due to construction delays on the bridge. Even though the lane closure was near the Queens tower the delays began well back into the Bronx side, at least a quarter-mile before the (obscene) toll booths. For a few moments I thought I’d have to use the Harding Avenue Manoever to reduce the delays, but that didn’t prove necessary.
On Tuesday evening we celebrated my birthday a day early, as there will be some scheduling issues on Wednesday. Nothing fancy, just a nice dinner at home with an excellent peach cobbler. Also on Tuesday I found out a major change in my upcoming work schedule. After finishing up the 3-week assignment in Mount Vernon in late July I will not be going to Port Chester for three months as originally planned. Instead, I’ll be on a newly created team that will be working entirely on Long Island. I am very pleased with this turn of events. Even though I’m paid well for travel time long drives are still tough to deal with, especially as the Port Chester assignment would require considerable exposure to rush hour traffic. Also, my Subaru has almost 140,000 miles on it, and the less I drive, the better.
I “celebrated” my birthday on Wednesday by getting up once again at the ghastly hour of 3 am. Fortunately this is the last time I’ll be doing such a gruesome thing this week, as on Thursday and Friday I’ll be working close to home and starting at 7 am. Not sure about next week yet. I had to schlep all the way to Westport, Connecticut, a distance of about 85 miles each way. Fortunately, traffic was light as usual and I made the drive in well under two hours. Getting home was a bit tough due to the ongoing work on the Throgs Neck, but it really wasn’t too bad. I actually made it to hot yoga in the evening and somehow made it through the session reasonably intact. Of course, what with the heat wave we’ve been having the hot yoga room didn’t seem as bad as it usually does!