Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Turning the pike

Driving from the Lincoln Tunnel to Princeton in the early morning leaves the sun rising, red and raw and sore, in your rear-view mirror. Newark airport is still closed, so the first noticeable feature is the sweet smell of long-chain hydrocarbons given off by the oil refinery at Elizabeth. At night this is a beautiful sight; it's illuminated in a way and to an extent that it would look ridiculous as a fairy castle, but it is redeemed by its functionality. The road at this point, the New Jersey Turnpike, is well maintained, not the pot-holed horror that represents the average US highway such as Route 1, which I take for the second half of the trip. To know this, imagine the M1 full of holes with the number of lanes varying randomly from 2 to 4 and with traffic lights every 3/4 mile. And with the drivers obeying the highway code of their planet of origin.

11 comments:

Gadjo Dilo said...

"New Jersey Turnpike" is engraved on the musical memory of all of us who've listened to Simon & Garfunkel (and we surely all have) and now we can't erase it.

Lulu LaBonne said...

Inky - have you been cast into purgatory for your sins? I forgive you come back

Anonymous said...

the oil refinery in Sydney looks like a fairyland too.....

BEAST said...

I like the word Turnpike
Thats all I have to say on the matter

inkspot said...

Gadj, the musical person usually associated with NJ is Bruce Springsteen (he's rubbish). I didn't know about the Simon and Garfunkel thing.

Lulu, not quite, but have the champagne and marmite ready for when I get back.

Nurse, have you got the budget to recreate it for the Gimcrack's next Christmas tree?

Beast, quite right.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Pulling into Hartlepool by train at night used to be similarly splendoured.

Anonymous said...

have we got the budget? no way, it's all taken up buying continence pads

Dr Maroon said...

This apocryphal "Highway Code" you refer to, is nothing more than an advisory document. A dispiriting etiquette of a bygone age. It is a clever hoax, a parody. You were not supposed to swallow it.

Dr Maroon said...

No Kev, sneaking OUT of Hartlepool at night, used to be similarly splendoured.

inkspot said...

Kevin, is your remark related to the fact that Hartlepool's MP used to be Peter Mandelson?

Nurse, perhaps if you economized on the porridge then?

Christ Maroon, anyone would think you were from New Jersey yourself.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Egad no!

The chemical works on the bay just outside Hartlepool used to look like Christmas adventure playground.