The Cyclone and the Backseat Driver

My second day in New York, the city was hit with two tornadoes. A rare occurence in New York and one I’ve never experienced. The Kid Brother and I went for a walk to Coney Island right after the tornadoes touched down just a few miles away. We had no idea.

GULLS (AND KITES) HOVERING IN PLACE IN THE WIND.
A HALF HOUR EARLIER AND WE WOULD HAVE SEEN A TORNADO IN THIS VIEW.

After I got my hot dog fix at Nathan’s, The Kid Brother challenged me to a skeeball showdown. It was always our favorite arcade game when we were kids and The Kid Brother is addicted (as he is to most sports and competitions).

AFTER THE TORNADOES PASSED. VERY HAPPY KITE FLYERS.

We were a little early for an off-season Saturday and couldn’t find an open arcade. So we walked on the Boardwalk and watched the kites soaring in the strong winds. I complained to The Kid Brother, who had to hold his ever-present Yankees baseball cap tightly to his head, that I also hated the wind because it made a mess of my hair. He said, “Uh huh.” (He wasn’t really listening, intent on finding an arcade with skeeball.) So, I continued, “Do you see how my hair flaps in my eyes?” He turned to me, glanced at my buzz-cut balding head and said, “You jerk.” Charming.

THE ENTRANCE TO THE SCREAM ZONE.
NO SKEEBALL THERE.

We finally found an open arcade and set up shop. Each game has nine balls. Between us, we rolled 360! I rolled 5 games myself and left the rest to the winner and still champion. We earned 1098 points, which were traded in for a stuffed pig with blue wings, and a couple of plastic trinkets.

THE WONDER WHEEL, REVOLVING IN CONEY ISLAND SINCE 1920.
MY SISTER AND I USED TO LOVE THE SWINGING CARS. IT WAS LIKE A ROLLER COASTER FERRIS WHEEL.

A HISTORIC LANDMARK, THE CYCLONE. A WOODEN ROLLER COASTER OPENED IN 1927,
THE DAY AFTER THE DOWAGER DUCHESS WAS BORN.

THE SKEEBALL CHAMPION IN ACTION.
I THINK THIS WAS BALL 247.

HE’S SO GOOD, HE ACTUALLY ATTRACTED AN AUDIENCE.

Sunday, The Kid Brother arrived again bright and early at The Dowager Duchess’. We decided to do some shopping. So, we piled in the car and sat in traffic on the Belt Parkway. Sitting in traffic can be unpleasant. Sitting in traffic with The Kid Brother (also known as the Backseat Driver) can put me over the edge. The Dowager Duchess sits in front and the Kid Brother sits in back and provides a running commentary on whether or not the traffic is moving ahead, what might be causing the delay, which lane would be better for me to move into, which car I should watch out for, when I should stop (or go), if I’m following too closely. When he rides in front, he grabs the hanging strap, stomps his foot on his own invisible brake, and slams his palms against the dashboard.

SITTING IN TRAFFIC ON THE BELT PARKWAY.

The Kid Brother does not drive. But one of these days, the kid brother is going to get out and walk! I snapped his picture while we were at a dead stop and I told him I was going to post it on my blog with the caption “THE BACKSEAT DRIVER.” He said, “If you do, one of these days, you’ll pay for it!” But he laughed. So I figure I’m safe.

THE BACKSEAT DRIVER.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

28 thoughts on “The Cyclone and the Backseat Driver”

  1. It's a shame the Belt Parkway doesn't come anywhere near Long Island or you could have visited THE ANONYMOUS COUSIN!

    1. Jane and Lance:
      I wish I had seen the tornado (and known all along we would be safe). Amazing. Coney Island is slowly making a comeback, apparently. A very fascinating (and sometimes strange) place.

  2. I have a special place in my heart for back-seat drivers (I call it the boot).

    So hey – it ain't called a "parkway" for nuthin!

    p.s. Between you, me and the elephants, you probably know that as a trunk.

  3. It's good you spend time with your brother, especially when you're so far away the rest of the year. And the Dowager Duchess… she must be thrilled her sons have a good time together.

  4. Holy bejeebers, tornadoes? Really? I didn't hear anything about this! (Well, I haven't watched the news in a few days, so that would explain that). Good thing I know of a blog from a guy in Seville, Spain, so that I can get my NYC news out here in St. Louis. :))

    Here's to more fun!

    Judy

  5. I'm loving your pictures of NY. I've never been there and there's very little chance I'll ever get to go there, so I'll enjoy it vicariously via your photos. So your brother is still the same? When you consider the alternatives, that's not so bad!

    1. Ms. Sparrow:
      It really is an amazingly diverse city — in terms of people AND homes. Tenements, tall buildings, row houses, brick and stone mansions, Victorian mansions, modern McMansions, suburban-looking homes and gardens. And so many people!

  6. I heard about the tornado in NY as Andy Murray was in The U S open final and we had all the news about that match. Did you know he won? This was the icing on the sporting cake here. NY looks so much fun, am so glad to hear about the skeeball champ and to see his photo!

    1. Loi:
      It's a not a very long trip for you. Maybe you can enter Nathan's hot dog eating contest next year. Or find out when the annual Mermaid Parade is (some time in late June, I think). NOT to be missed.

  7. I bet the ole patience was tried and stretched a few times in that traffic!! lol
    I do hope you learned a thing or two from Kid Bro during the match/challenge, he does have have great Skeeball form!
    Of course I've heard about Coney Island and am glad it is 'coming back'.

Share your thoughts and experiences. It's always nice to know I'm not alone.