Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Where it smells like burning

For the third year in a row, work has dropped me into NYC's industrial neighbor to the South. Time spent here is a series of bell shaped curves, moments of joy or curiosity followed by valleys of anger at traffic or the locals. It seems like this would be a choice destination if you're looking for a fight.
The first reaction is... "Hey, it's the NYC skyline" followed by the realization shipping containers block the view. As the weeks progress the stack grows higher, work gets increasingly tiring and sleep is harder to come by. May be the neighbors to blame, the annoying family across the hall, the Norfolk Southern Railroad, the Jersey Turnpike and/or the Newark International Airport.
Two hours of each day are spent on I-95 dealing with the never ending road rage and close calls that keep the entire population on the brink of hostility. Turnpike traffic is a combination of the aggressive tactics found in New York City driving mixed with excessive highway speeds. Only here can you find semi trucks cut each other off, brakes lock up, trailers swerve into the other lane and the trucks fly up over cement barriers on a regular basis.
Sopranos filming locations dot the landscape, people who could easily pass for extras in the series are also in good supply. Its a mysterious place, at first you think its kinda cool, then you get a slight headache. About a week into it you're ready to go home, at two weeks... ready to hit someone. Could be the chemicals in the air, I dunno. It's reassuring to know that driving North out of NYC yields the exact opposite kind of place.

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