During our stay, we frequently needed rides. Instead of using a cab, my daughter, her friends and the hotel clerk all praised an App for the iPhone – Uber. A service that allows you to call for a ride – to anywhere – and the price is preset and includes a tip. Neat, clean, concise. No problems and you always have a ride.
My daughter (and many others) tried to teach me the easy way to use the App. They were valiant in their efforts, albeit unsuccessful.
On Sunday morning we packed and checked out of the hotel. I used the Uber App and was successful…..to a point. I couldn’t get a confirmation for a driver until the FRONT DESK clerk helped me reconfirm my request. Apparently Uber wanted another scan of the AmEx card (Jerry had in his wallet standing on the sidewalk, guarding the luggage as I was in the lobby) and as you all might expect, this last minute Uber request thwarted my attempt in successfully getting a car without expert assistance. Ten minutes worth of my leg dragging back and forth from the lobby–sidewalk–lobby–sidewalk – we achieved Uber Nirvana.
At 1:15pm our driver picked us up and off we went for a quick 25-minute ride to Penn Station. As you likely expect, it didn’t work quite that way. Traffic was exceptionally trying. At 2:20pm (one hour five minutes later) the driver was intently watching the navigation on his iPhone and mistakenly turned down a one-way street. Two cops got out of their car, one born, bred and practiced cop came over to the passenger side, poked his head into the window and in a fabulous Bronx dialect:
Cop: Are you fuckin’ serious?
Ackmed: Sorry sir, so sorry, sorry…I was using navigation and…
Cop: Screw navigation – READ the damn signs – it says, ONE WAY.
Ackmed: Please, thank you, I will turn around…..
Cop: Right NOW! Get the hell outta here.
I figured we’d be spending the evening in Night Court (it was Manhattan, better than the South Bronx), but the kid driving almost cried, the cop relented and got us turned around going the right way. We arrived at Penn Station at @ 2:40p. Thirty-five minutes to spare to make the train. Noooooo problem!
The escalator down was broken so I considered rolling down the 50 steps like the Pillsbury Doughboy. Jerry convinced me to just take my time. After all, the train left at 3:15p and it was now only 2:48p. Amtrak’s reluctance to post a gate # for the Silver Meteor resulted in minor delays stopping for directions from the information desk clerk and a cop with a drug-sniffing dog that did not like strangers approaching his master.
Dragging my leg behind me, we made it to the gate with a huge 12 minutes to spare. AND, we get free water on this train. WOW!!!!
It’s only 3:55p – suspect the story will not end here.