Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Cyclone and the Backseat Driver

My second day in New York, the city was hit with two tornadoes. A rare occurence in New York and one I've never experienced. The Kid Brother and I went for a walk to Coney Island right after the tornadoes touched down just a few miles away. We had no idea.

GULLS (AND KITES) HOVERING IN PLACE IN THE WIND.
A HALF HOUR EARLIER AND WE WOULD HAVE SEEN A TORNADO IN THIS VIEW.

After I got my hot dog fix at Nathan's, The Kid Brother challenged me to a skeeball showdown. It was always our favorite arcade game when we were kids and The Kid Brother is addicted (as he is to most sports and competitions).

AFTER THE TORNADOES PASSED. VERY HAPPY KITE FLYERS.

We were a little early for an off-season Saturday and couldn't find an open arcade. So we walked on the Boardwalk and watched the kites soaring in the strong winds. I complained to The Kid Brother, who had to hold his ever-present Yankees baseball cap tightly to his head, that I also hated the wind because it made a mess of my hair. He said, "Uh huh." (He wasn't really listening, intent on finding an arcade with skeeball.) So, I continued, "Do you see how my hair flaps in my eyes?" He turned to me, glanced at my buzz-cut balding head and said, "You jerk." Charming.

THE ENTRANCE TO THE SCREAM ZONE.
NO SKEEBALL THERE.

We finally found an open arcade and set up shop. Each game has nine balls. Between us, we rolled 360! I rolled 5 games myself and left the rest to the winner and still champion. We earned 1098 points, which were traded in for a stuffed pig with blue wings, and a couple of plastic trinkets.

THE WONDER WHEEL, REVOLVING IN CONEY ISLAND SINCE 1920.
MY SISTER AND I USED TO LOVE THE SWINGING CARS. IT WAS LIKE A ROLLER COASTER FERRIS WHEEL.

A HISTORIC LANDMARK, THE CYCLONE. A WOODEN ROLLER COASTER OPENED IN 1927,
THE DAY AFTER THE DOWAGER DUCHESS WAS BORN.

THE SKEEBALL CHAMPION IN ACTION.
I THINK THIS WAS BALL 247.

HE'S SO GOOD, HE ACTUALLY ATTRACTED AN AUDIENCE.

Sunday, The Kid Brother arrived again bright and early at The Dowager Duchess'. We decided to do some shopping. So, we piled in the car and sat in traffic on the Belt Parkway. Sitting in traffic can be unpleasant. Sitting in traffic with The Kid Brother (also known as the Backseat Driver) can put me over the edge. The Dowager Duchess sits in front and the Kid Brother sits in back and provides a running commentary on whether or not the traffic is moving ahead, what might be causing the delay, which lane would be better for me to move into, which car I should watch out for, when I should stop (or go), if I'm following too closely. When he rides in front, he grabs the hanging strap, stomps his foot on his own invisible brake, and slams his palms against the dashboard.

SITTING IN TRAFFIC ON THE BELT PARKWAY.

The Kid Brother does not drive. But one of these days, the kid brother is going to get out and walk! I snapped his picture while we were at a dead stop and I told him I was going to post it on my blog with the caption "THE BACKSEAT DRIVER." He said, "If you do, one of these days, you'll pay for it!" But he laughed. So I figure I'm safe.

THE BACKSEAT DRIVER.

28 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great time...tornadoes notwithstanding. :)

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    1. Writer:
      Knowing the tornadoes didn't reach we were, it sure would have been amazing to have seen it from the beach.

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  2. I hope your brother isn't the sort who likes to get even.

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    1. Stephen:
      My brother threatens a lot ("One of these days"), but he's too nice a guy to ever follow through.

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  3. It's a shame the Belt Parkway doesn't come anywhere near Long Island or you could have visited THE ANONYMOUS COUSIN!

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    Replies
    1. Well, I'm pretty sure I now only have one anonymous cousin on Long Island!

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  4. sounds like a great time, backseat driver and all lol :)

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    1. Monkey Man:
      It was. And I love picking on my brother (and he loves the attention).

      Delete
  5. Hello Mitch:
    Wonderful to see pictures of Coney Island, known only to us from old films!! And there you were, happily having missed the tornado!

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    1. Jane and Lance:
      I wish I had seen the tornado (and known all along we would be safe). Amazing. Coney Island is slowly making a comeback, apparently. A very fascinating (and sometimes strange) place.

      Delete
  6. I have a special place in my heart for back-seat drivers (I call it the boot).

    So hey - it ain't called a "parkway" for nuthin!

    p.s. Between you, me and the elephants, you probably know that as a trunk.

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    1. The Owl Wood:
      I've got English family, and they "learned me" all about hoods and bonnets. I'll have to threaten my brother with the boot the next time we're together. He'll love that.

      Delete
  7. It's good you spend time with your brother, especially when you're so far away the rest of the year. And the Dowager Duchess... she must be thrilled her sons have a good time together.

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    1. Peter:
      It definitely makes us all happy. He exhausts me and I love him!

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  8. Holy bejeebers, tornadoes? Really? I didn't hear anything about this! (Well, I haven't watched the news in a few days, so that would explain that). Good thing I know of a blog from a guy in Seville, Spain, so that I can get my NYC news out here in St. Louis. :))

    Here's to more fun!

    Judy

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    1. Judeet:
      I LOVE your comment. Made me laugh out loud. If I hear the tornado siren warning for St. Louis, I'll let you know.

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  9. I'm loving your pictures of NY. I've never been there and there's very little chance I'll ever get to go there, so I'll enjoy it vicariously via your photos. So your brother is still the same? When you consider the alternatives, that's not so bad!

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    1. Ms. Sparrow:
      It really is an amazingly diverse city — in terms of people AND homes. Tenements, tall buildings, row houses, brick and stone mansions, Victorian mansions, modern McMansions, suburban-looking homes and gardens. And so many people!

      Delete
  10. Welcome back! Coney Island's-a-changin' rapidly these days.

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    1. Little Earthquake:
      It's nice to see it making a comeback, even if it's a slow one.

      Delete
  11. how exciting! (the tornado I mean)
    but you must excuse my perversity, I am a 'storm queen".

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    1. Spo:
      I have never witnessed a tornado and the idea of living somewhere that has them regularly terrifies me. But I would love to see one ... safely ... some time!

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  12. I heard about the tornado in NY as Andy Murray was in The U S open final and we had all the news about that match. Did you know he won? This was the icing on the sporting cake here. NY looks so much fun, am so glad to hear about the skeeball champ and to see his photo!

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    1. cuby poet:
      Very exciting about Andy Murray and his own personal tornado. So glad you like the picture of the skeeball champ. More to come.

      Delete
  13. I have always wanted to visit Coney Island!! Never went as a kid, but still on my list!
    Cheers from DC,
    Loi

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    1. Loi:
      It's a not a very long trip for you. Maybe you can enter Nathan's hot dog eating contest next year. Or find out when the annual Mermaid Parade is (some time in late June, I think). NOT to be missed.

      Delete
  14. I bet the ole patience was tried and stretched a few times in that traffic!! lol
    I do hope you learned a thing or two from Kid Bro during the match/challenge, he does have have great Skeeball form!
    Of course I've heard about Coney Island and am glad it is 'coming back'.

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    Replies
    1. Jim:
      Amazingly, I didn't have much trouble myself with the traffic that day. The backseat driver, however, was another story!

      Delete

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