June 18, 2006

Long and Strong

I was bummed to have to give up my Saturday to drive one of my label's artists and her manager around Long Island, but I consoled myself when I realized that Long Island is probably the one place where I could actually find a guy who wants to take me to the mall and listen to Journey. After all, the one guy I actually do know who fits the bill lives in Cedarhurst. So I packed up the rental car and I picked up my passengers and zoomed over to the Queens Midtown Tunnel for an early morning drive down the L.I.E.

My previous excursions to Long Island have taken me to some of the usual destinations - Fire Island, Jones Beach, Westbury Music Fair, Roosevelt Field - but the only other time I had to work out there was just out to Farmingdale and fortunately I wasn't doing the driving. This time around I had to navigate my way all the way out to {ahem] a charity soccer tournament in Commack.

On the way out there somewhere around exit 36 we got hungry and were making good time, so we started driving towards Mineola (sort of) in search of food, and found a great little bagelry on Mineola Ave. called Barbara's Bagels. I have no idea who Barbara is but her bagels are fantastic. I was trying to be good so I managed to avoid the french toast bagels (replete w/powdered sugar) and the flagels, which just sort of looked like flattened-out bagels.

After getting to Commack and surviving some drizzle on a soccer field, we had to head back towards the city to Port Washington, a surprisingly cute watefront area (with neighboring Danbury and Manhassett) with lots of upscale shopping, gated communities and a crazy school/retreat tucked away in the woods (whose sign asked that we preserve the serenity of their campus, meanwhile I was peeling out as I made a U-turn in their driveway because I was lost). After petting some doggies and kitties at North Shore Animal League (which was surprisingly depressing) we got a late lunch at the very scary-looking Mexican/South American restaurant Mi Ranchito / Senor Pollo, whose excellent fajitas and vegetarian burrito weren't scary at all! (You know anyplace with pictures on their menu really could go either way...) Appropriately, we then caught a matinee screening of Nacho Libre at the soon-to-be-renovated movie theater on Main Street.

The hilarity of the film didn't get my spirits high enough to mentally survive the noisy, chaotic ride back to JFK - not hearing the GPS, making a few wrong turns, getting stuck in very slow traffic. Whilst trying to avoid a mental breakdown right there, I really wished I had hijacked the trip and dragged everybody to Garden City for some hot mall action and the Cheesecake Factory. At least then my quest for the man of my dreams might've been satisfied... Between that and not making my travel companions happy despite best efforts, the whole mission felt pretty impossible.

And now back to work. And further evidence that I need a pet.

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