This is worse than LA!

I found myself saying that after we left Lady Liberty to grab dinner in NYC. We figured pizza at Grimaldi’s, right by the Brooklyn Bridge, would be the perfect way to end our visit. To do that, however, required us to travel from the Liberty State Park in Jersey to the Holland Tunnel, wind our way across the heart of the New York City, then cross the Brooklyn Bridge. After about an hour, we got as far as the on ramp to the Holland Tunnel.

By then, it was past 8, and we were nowhere near food. When we saw an opportunity to get out of the mess. We took a left and, with the use of our sometimes-spotty GPS in our phone, we managed to get to Harlem by 9:30.

We found a well-reviewed pizza place on Yelp, found parking, then walked to the pizza place. Now, Harlem seems like a very friendly community. There were people hanging out by their front steps, chatting. There were families playing basketball at the park across the street. We drove through parts that seemed gritty, where the streets weren’t as well-maintained, and there were more vagrants with alcohol problems. But, where this pizza place was located, the vibe was vibrant, communal, friendly. It dawned on me later that Harlem is where Marcus Samuelsson’s restaurant is located. Eating there would have made it all come full circle: attending his shrimp and grits demo, shaking his hand, getting his autograph, and then eating at his restaurant.

The pizza place was the best alternative, though. The pizza was awesome. As it should be, I guess. After all, Harlem is not that far away.



I had spaghetti and meatballs. Because having a cheese pizza for dinner would just make the night even worse. It was good, I just wish there was more sauce. Too thick. I like my meatballs to swim in sauce! Ok, not that much, but you catch my drift.


After dinner, off to the freeway again! By the way, I’m not sure what East Coast people call freeways out here. Is it expressways? Anyway, we found ourselves wishing we were “home” already. You get sick of long drives after a while. I used to think an hour’s drive to Camarillo was a pain in the ass and barely worth it. Now, we consider a 4-hour drive to Vegas a piece of cake. It’s true what the phrase says, “it could be worse.” Instead of complaining that it’s taking you forever to get to Santa Monica, think of the fact you are not driving across Texas. That takes forever and a day.

At some point, it’s usually common sense to stop driving when you are yawning every other minute on the road. So, we found a Motel 6 somewhere in Connecticut and called it a day. It must have been past midnight.

Our last hotel/motel stop before Massachusetts!