My friend, CM and I get together from time to time and our adventures (or perhaps misadventures is more appropriate) usually involve my getting lost. You name the county, I got lost in it last year
- On Memorial Day I got lost in Rockland County trying to find Piermont so we could have lunch overlooking the Hudson.
- In August, heading down to the Jersey Shore for vacation I did fine on the Parkway but got lost as soon as I got off at Exit 61.(Ocean County)
- October, we roamed Dutchess County trying to find the Stormville Airport flea market (even though I’d driven there twice before).
- Last December,we visited the holiday train show in the Bronx Botanical Gardens (Bronx County)then headed over to Arthur Avenue, the Little Italy of the Bronx, for dinner, a distance of perhaps seven blocks. Well, I managed to turn the wrong way upon exiting the park and got completely turned around. Should I mention I lived in the Bronx for nine years and worked there for eleven years!
If they ever do a remake of Thelma and Louise and cast me in the Thelma role, the movie will end quite differently. I won’t be able to find the cliff.
A few Saturdays ago we went to see a movie – new year, new leaf, I was determined nothing would go wrong.I was picking CM up in Yonkers. I lived inYonkers for five years, knew it like the back of my hand. Then we were heading up to Port Chester. Port Chester is two towns north of Harrison where I lived for a different five years of my life and knew it like the back of my other hand. Anyone who knows Westchester is thinking, that’s about twenty-five miles south to pick her up then she’d going to head east, and back up north another 15 miles or so. Why, when there are movies all over the county?
Free movies passes, that’s why! CM had received AMC movie passes from her place of work and Port Chester has the only AMC theater in Westchester. Free was worth the trip. Plus, Mary Ann’s, one of my favorite Mexican restaurants, is in Port Chester. I hadn’t been there since I moved. We’d have dinner there after the movie. CM was fine with that. She’d eat anywhere that had Margaritas
Well, that was a minor problem but it didn’t have to do with my driving. AMC Port Chester is one of those giant multiplexes with fourteen theaters. You’d think that with 14 films to choose from there’s be one we would agree on. Luckily we tackled it before we got there. I called her Friday night:
CM: “Ooh, goodie, The Artist is playing. I’ve been dying to see that.”
Me: “That’s in black and white, with subtitles. I don’t want to see that.”
CM: “But it won a lot of Oscars.”
Me :”doesn’t matter”
CM: “There’s a dog in it. You like dogs.”
Me: “I’d like to see Hugo.”
CM: “Isn’t that a kids movie? ”
Me: “No. It’s just magical. Plus it’s in 3D. I haven’t seen a 3D movie since I was a kid. 100 Ghosts, I think it was.”
CM: “Oh” sigh, “OK”
CM is nicer than me. Plus she’d have her margarita after it was all over
Saturday arrived and yippee,not one wrong turn. But we did come upon a roadblock – at the ticket counter.
CM: “‘Two tickets for Hugo, please and we’d like to use these free passes.”
“Ticket selling guy: “There’s a 3D surcharge so that will be $11.”
It was time for a conference. We stepped aside and let the people behind us buy their tickets
“CM: You sure you don’t want to see “The Artist?”
To be honest, there really wasn’t anything I wanted to see, but I knew what I didn’t want to see, a silent movie in black and white .
She thought one of the movies might be good; about a woman who’d been kidnapped and I guess her sister too, because now she was trying to find her.
Me: “OK, sounds good.”
Back she went to the counter “Two for Safe House.”
Now it so happened she also had a free popcorn coupon and while she went to redeem it I stood gazing up at the fourteen titles along the wall behind the line of ticket sellers
“Hmm, that’s asking for trouble,” I pointed out when she returned. “There’s a Safe House playing and a Silent House. People could get mixed up.
We gave our tickets to the ticket taker and he directed us to auditorium #5 where we settled into our comfortable rocking seats for twenty minutes (yes, I kept track) of previews, each one louder than the preceding one until finally, “Your Featured Presentation flashed on the screen.
Thankfully the volume was a little lower but not much, for the soon we were engulfed in the cacophony of a car chase through street of downtown (We’d soon find out) Johannesburg, South Africa and behind the wheel of the careening car was Denzel Washington. I’d seen him on David Letterman about a week earlier promoting his latest film in which he played a rogue CIA agent. I also seeing a poster for the movie on a bus shelter. I turned to CM just as she was turning to me
“We’re in the wrong movie,” we said in unison “We wanted Silent House.
All in all, it was a good story, a bit on the violent side, although CM would say a lot on the violent side. But she admitted it had a good plot….. and now she was ready for her margarita
“Is it close enough to walk?” she asked as we exited the theater. “I’ve been dreaming about that Margarita since I got up this morning.”
It wasn’t, so we headed back to the truck . And I sort of, kind of, got turned around and ended up Rye, the next town but I knew how to get back to Port Chester so, technically, we weren’t lost.
“Okay, here’s Burger King,” I told her, “Maryanne’s should be coming up, right here on the right.”
“Closed.” she said.
“What do you mean closed. It’s Saturday Night.”
“Closed.” she repeated.
Not only was it closed, it was empty, derelict, abandoned”
I thought CM was going to cry. “Do you know another Mexican restaurant?”
I didn’t but I knew a good Italian restaurant –in Harrison.
“Do they make margaritas?”
I wasn’t sure but I assumed so. But it didn’t matter what I assumed. It had been thirteen years since I lived in the area and I forgot I had to take a turn off of Route 1. So we by-passed Harrison and ended up in ———-
“Welcome to Mamaroneck” CM read “Are you lost?”
” I know an even better place, Augie’s. It’s an old-fashioned neighborhood place, one side’s a dining room, one side’s a bar – definitely Margaritas. It’s in Larchmont, the next town.
AM sighed and I drove. Suddenly she yelled “Stop. – Mexican Grill!”
And that’s how we found Gusano Loco Mexican Grill. Found it, but we weren’t there yet. I had to find a parking spot.
The restaurant was at one end of a bloc of storefronts, an Equinox gym was at the other.
“Why don’t you park in the Equinox parking lot?” Asked CM.
“Nope, I’ll get towed”
“But they’re closed.”
“No, they’re not.” I pointed to one lone stationary cyclist. “I’ve been towed and it’s not fun.”
We drove a few block, made a U-turn, passed GL again, made another U-turn, passed GL again, tried a side street.
“I don’t see why you don’t park in Equinox.” CM was getting cranky.
I was already cranky. “Look, right there, a tow truck, that’s why!”
“But he’s towing away a disabled car.”
I parked on the street just up from the restaurant
CM pointed to a sign. “No parking. Won’t you get a ticket?”
“At least I won’t get towed.”
The March wind was brutal but it didn’t matter, we’d escaped the prison that my truck always turns into. I pushed the door of the restaurant and the first sight to greet us was a sign:
“All our customers can park in the Equinox parking lot.”
Need I say more. Yes I need to.
A week later I had dinner with my sister-in-law who happens to live right near GL and related our saga.
You could have walked to Mary Ann’s ” she told me.
“They moved to Mamaroneck?”
“No, they’re still in Port Chester but they moved to Main St – right around the corner from the movies.”