PS (West) New York is Burning

Apologies for the lack of posts, I’ve been outside and trying to stay away from the computer past what’s already required of me. But something occurred to me today on the way home from riding: there are a fuck load of fires in this town. Not only do I see and hear the droning alarms of the fire company hourly, I’m now reaping the benefits of a fire truck’s ability to get people the hell out of the way.

Normally, the ride home from my flatland spot is through a quagmire of cars, shuttles, buses, bootleg shops on Bergenline Ave and people aimlessly wandering the street in search of purpose. But three times this week, I got lucky. Well, not lucky, but the ride home was a lot smoother.

The reason being, fire trucks and emergency vehicles were clearing the path, almost all the way back to my apartment building. Kinda like in Die Hard 3, when John McClain needs to get from point A to point B in NYC in a really short amount of time. It normally wouldn’t happen in a car, so he calls in “Officer Down” nearby a certain location where he needs to get to, then follows in pursuit behind the ambulance when it leaves the hospital. It’s sorta how my rides home have been lately. I’ll be getting close to the fire house, hear the roar of the alarms and pedal my ass off behind the fire trucks, avoiding red lights and traffic of both the vehicular and people variety.

Tonight’s victim was the Fiesta Buffet. It’s a few blocks away from me and directly on the way home. I didn’t see any fire. And people were still eating inside the restaurant. But three fire trucks had the street blocked off at Fiesta’s very busy intersection, which I gracefully glided through on the way home. It probably saved me a good three minutes of frustration. And it probably cost this town a little over $5,000 in tax payer’s money.

But I don’t actually think there’s a lot of fires in this town. On the contrary, I think everyone in this town is trigger happy for 9-1-1, and that’s not good for anyone, including the fire companies and the tax payers. In fact, the one and only time I actually witnessed a fire in this town (a car fire a few blocks away), the fire department actually didn’t respond in too much of a timely manner. I can just imagine the fire department sitting around the station and waiting for calls, thinking, “Oh great, probably another air conditioner that’s not properly seated in a window. Take your time suiting up boys…” The car was burnt to a crisp.

I won’t complain about the smooth rides home at night though. There is too much traffic of every type in this town, and the chance to get from point A to point B without being cut off by a lowered 1983 Toyota Celica blasting salsa music is much appreciated. So thanks 9-1-1ers, your trigger happiness is appreciated in a roundabout sort of way…

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