Monday, July 13, 2009

Grrrrrridlock!

This afternoon I had to drop someone off at JFK. Getting into the airport was no problem. Getting out, well, was another story! All of the vehicles in the picture are STANDING DEAD STILL. (Except for the train - look hard and you might find it!). I should have taken more photos but its hard when you're creeping along bumper-to-bumper... The photo you see here was taken this afternoon at 5:03pm. The trip from JFK to the Whitestone bridge (approx. 4.8 miles, perhaps?) along the Van Wyck took ONE HOUR! Talk about traffic congestion!

After being stuck some more all the way to the tollbooths at the bridge (The Bridge Toll is $5.20 each way - The Van Wyck Expressway is anything but - the highway is so bad that it was a running joke on Seinfeld: "You took the Van Wyck? What were you thinking?" ), I'd decided I'd had it! I wanted to get out on the road and drive... so it was off to the Saw Mill and Taconic Parkways... everybody was doing 80... there was a tricked out Mercedes with blacked-out windows and blacked-out head & taillights weaving in and out of traffic along the Saw Mill Parkway... if we were all doing 80, this guy had to be opened up at 100 or more! Didn't see a single State Police cruiser all the way home!

To stave off boredom, my passenger and I decided to check the range of three of the NYC radio stations: 92.3, 95.5 and 97.1 --- of course Albany has a 92.3 and a 95.5 of its own (which is why we selected those frequencies for our 'test'). We were about 90 miles outside NYC when Hot97 finally faded so badly it was totally distorted. 92.3 had already faded out, and we were surprised Albany's 92.3 wasn't audible. The two 95.5's, when you're just above Poughkeepsie, start doing this little dance where it seems like they take turns sharing air... drive up a steep hill and WPLJ is there, only to suddenly switch with WYJB just after the car begins descending. On the AM side, we had Michael Savage on 710 WOR... just at the point where the two 95's were taking turns, we switched to 810 WGY (also carrying Savage) and were quite surprised to hear that NYC's WOR was louder and clearer than 810! Up around Austerlitz the AM signals were more even, although WOR stayed "louder" until we got off the Taconic and onto I-90.

If we ever get any of those dog days of heat with the sultry nights laden with "heavy air" --- those are the nights when 97.1 and another FM, WALK from Long Island, boom in as if they had transmitters in downtown Albany! (Good nights to have the 'Boom Box' loaded with a blank casette and a few extras on hand "just in case"!)

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