Storytelling Sunday

It’s the first Sunday of the month so it is Storytelling Sunday, hosted by Sian at From High in the Sky. Hop on over and check out the great collection of stories we have all linked up

Ellen_Mike_Brad_Max_NYC_NYE1992ed

This photo was taken in New York City on New Year’s Eve 1991. Pictured are our friends Ellen & Mike, DH and our other friend Max.

DH & were just dating at this point, so I suppose he was DBF then.

Mike, Ellen, Mike’s girlfriend Gina & another of our friends, Kevin, were all living in NYC. Well, they were living just across the river in Jersey but that’s practically the same as living in NYC to people living in Morgantown WV, which is where Max, DBF and I were living at the time.

The three of us decided suddenly, late on the afternoon of December 30th, that it would be fun to spend New Year’s Eve in Times Square, because everyone ought to do that at least once & if we did it now we’d never have to do it again.

We called Mike & Gina and they said sounds like a plan, come on up, we have lots of floor space & a futon sofa & we’re a block from the train.

So the 3 of us loaded up my Mercury Cougar and headed north.

We had one cassette tape (this was before mp3s) – Scottish Bagpipes, which was Max’s and by the time we got there, nearly 8 hours later, I was just about over bagpipe music. It would be a decade before I could listen to it again.

None of us had ever been there before and this was also before Google Maps so we had to rely on the old school multifold maps that once you unfold you can never refold and once you mangle it down into an easily held size you are stuck with just that open section and when you come to the edge of it you have unmangle it and then remangle it into a different section.

We got lost a few times, the bits that didn’t involve interstates, and nearly every time we stopped to ask directions the exchange would go something like this

Is this such and such exit?

No that’s a mile back

How do we get to it?

You can’t get there from here.

You can’t get there from here quickly became the theme of the trip. If we pulled over at food stop on the turnpike to get some McDonalds, it was on the other side of the road and you can’t get there from here. If we were looking for a turnoff we had missed the exit and you can’t turn around and go back from here.

When we got to Jersey City we had more specific directions from Mike to get to his place. They involved being on a certain road and when we got off the turnpike we asked the guy at the booth if he knew where this road was. He pointed to this elevated highway off to our left and said that was it. We asked how to get there, but we already knew:

You can’t get there from here.

So being three people from small towns,not being used to big cities, we did what small town people do, we said “Do you know Mike Mc? He lives in apartment building name” and THE GUY DID! He told us exactly how to find the building.

But we missed a one way road turn and naturally ended up someplace where we couldn’t get there from but we did eventually sort it all out, found the building & a place to park & met up with Mike & Gina.

We went into the city early the next day. We were going to go to some bar or other to meet up with Ellen & Kevin but there was construction at the station and you guessed it – you couldn’t get to platform we needed from where we were.

Later, after eventually meeting up with everyone & getting some supper (the best broccoli soup I have ever had, I still remember it 20 years on) we headed up to Times Square. It was bitter, bitter cold. (the other thing I still remember after 20 years) We wanted to go to a bar where some friends’ of Mike’s worked, which was on an upper floor, where we thought we could get in and watch the ball drop in warmth and with mixed drinks. But the police were blocking off whole areas to control the crowd and when we asked one of them if we could get through to go to the bar we were told – You can’t get there from here.

So we stood in the bitter cold and watched the ball drop. My feet were numb well before 11:30pm. We did have a flask of Jagermeister we were hitting for warmth but it didn’t do much good for feet. As soon as the ball was down we were all “Lets get on the train home” but they had the nearest one closed and of course when we got to the next one and inquired about trains to Jersey we were told – You can’t get there from here.

We ended up walking 7 more blocks to find a station that connected to the train we needed. I was limping because I couldn’t feel my feet. It hurt so bad when they warmed up.

The next day we drove home, accompanied by the screeching of bagpipes.

A year later some of our friends in Morgantown started talking about all of us going up to Times Square to see the ball drop and the 3 of us said “You can’t get there from here.”

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18 comments to Storytelling Sunday

  • Amy

    Hilarious!
    I know what you mean about the map scrunching – I hate not being able to get them neat and tidy again.

  • You had me ROFL!!! But I do agree that everyone should see the ball drop once in their life. I will one day :-) And I know it will be crowded and bitter cold, but at least I’ll never forget it. So did you ever go again?!

  • What a wonderfully funny story.

  • What a great story – I miss those days! Even though I’m 3,000 miles away, I had similar adventures.
    Rinda

  • Helena C

    I do love a trip that develops its own catch phrase

  • Those were the days! Although I live in another country your wonderfully told story evokes lots of adventures. You may have had 8 hours straight of bagpipe music, but I just know I will have that REM song in my head all day now!

  • Bagpipe music? Oh wow, that sounds like hard work! It’s such a perfect little detail to add to your wonderful story, though – and that photo places it in time so well. Could the date be anything else?

    Thanks for joining in with Storytelling Sunday today Stacey

  • Oh I can hear the Jersey/NY accent and it made me laugh – such a typical statement too. The bagpipe cassette…. yeah we had a couple of journeys were it took a while for me to be able to listen to some music again. Glad you have a photo and now the memory recorded!

  • Ladkyis

    Fantastic story! thank you for sharing!

  • Great story and although your feet were painful (I can just imagine) it sounds like a fantastic time with friends.

  • Alison

    I’m Scottish…and the thought of listening to Bagpipe music for that amount of time makes me shudder!! Great story!
    Alison xx

  • lol! great story.

  • That’s hilarious! Oh those maps – they used to annoy me something fierce not being able to get them all neat again.

  • Mel

    You tell such a good story :) I’d love to see in the New Year in Times Square some time – but I’m not sure I can get there from here…

    By the way, I haven’t had the chance to comment but I’ve been thinking of you during your surgery and your car troubles xx

  • that was so funny! I love how something ends up being repeated and turns into a catchphrase for a trip or situation!

  • So funny…..but listening to the bagpipes for all that time might make me lose the will to live!!!!!

  • What a memorable NYE, one you could never forget. How well you told the story; I could feel the cold and your poor feet! Thanks for sharing it.

  • S

    Well it sounds like a memorable trip, some parts more than others. It’s good that you look back on it with such humor. That’s the great thing about memories – you can always get there from here.