I had heard the news but somehow it never seemed like a time to take advantage. I felt like a bit of a n00b yesterday in using, for the first time, a MetroCard to get to Nassau County via the NICEBUS. There is one bus from FLushing that goes to Great Neck. For the hell of it I did that, feeling like globetrotting traveler for having left the 5 boroughs of New York City for only the second time in probably 2 years.
The first time on the NICE came with one surprise. The bus does not allow passengers to request stops in Queens when heading toward Great Neck. I requested a stop on Northern Boulevard somewhere around 180th Street, and watched as that bus sailed past that stop, no intention of stopping. I felt like the fool, and my request for a stop remained on the LED screen for several minutes until other passengers boarded. The stop to pick up passengers cleared the board of my errant request, but also made me ask if I could have exited the bus at that time, since it was stopped anyway.
By then I didn’t care. Just go all the way Great Neck. I had changed my mind about this journey because I thought it was going to take a lot longer than it did. I misread the NICE bus travel app, which said a Flushing-bound bus would leave Great Neck at 1:30 PM. I misread that and thought it meant the bus I was on would arrive at Great Neck at 1:30, which would have made for a much longer trip than I expected. That was why I wanted to exit the bus and just go back to Flushing via Q12 or Q13. But it worked out fine. Got to Great Neck around 12:45 and found that, contrary to expectation, I had already been to the Great Neck, this exact location. I don’t know how long ago but it was B.C. I was in Great Neck to find the old phone booth at Stepping Stone Park. I was there yesterday for no reason except to see if the MetroCard really did get me to Nassau County via the Nassau Intercontinental Country Express.
Next stop is going to be somewhere up the BeeLine, in Westchester. From Pelham Bay there is a bus that goes to… somewhere. I don’t remember the name but it looked like enough of a destination to justify the little adventure.
I did find payphone detritus in Great Neck. It was uninspiring but an abandoned PTS clamshell still stands at the LIRR station. It is further possible there is another one in the ticketed waiting room but I found too many people in my way when I tried to slip into that room.
All told it was a lot of bus time yesterday. I also hopped a Q27 to visit the FLushing Olde Town Burying Ground, I think is what it’s called. An interesting park built on top of a number of pauper’s graves, many of them Aafrican-American and less than 5 years old when they died. Somehow I never heard of this place, which is across the street from Flushing Cemetery and not far from the main entrance to that yard. It is not associated with Flushing Cemetery, and in fact it is maintained by the Parks Department. As far as burial grounds and Parks I knew of the Soldiers Monument at Old Calvary, the Quaker Cemetery in Prospect Park, and I *think* Battle Hill at Green-Wood might be maintained by Parks. I only say that because the SOldiers Monument at Calvary and the similar monument at Battle Hill are both by the Draddy Brothers, a fact which would not necessarily interest Parks. Regardless of the Battle Hill status, this Flushing Burying Ground is among the few NYC cemetery grounds Parks maintains.
Commute today was uneventful, and even a little eerie. Few passengers. It’s only Thursday. Maybe people are taking the Hurricane Lee thing seriously and skedaddling? I don’t know. I showered well and seem to have slept well. Dreams felt like piers collapsing into oceans, the slats of wood clapping against each other as my path to a watery grave inevitably makes me feel like a survivor when I wake in the morning, or through the night. I survived the night’s sleep.
No tombstones, but a handsome memorial with names of all known people buried there. At the end of the day it is still a desecration of the burial ground.
It was an all-around kind of day. Original plan was to get the Q44 SBS from Jamaica to the Bronx Zoo. That did not materialize, and I come to think it never will. Maybe I don’t need to do the whole entire route. From Flushing could suffice.