The New Jersey Turnpike (and it’s sister the Garden State Parkway) are absolutely notorious arteries in New Jersey. Gas is cheap in New Jersey. It’s actually cheaper in most cases than Texas, because of its ridiculously low gas tax. However, commuters are taxed a different way – every day, hundreds of thousands of them get on the interchanges of these arteries which go through major communities all throughout New Jersey, and connect with the bridges and tunnels that enter New York.
Above is the Delaware Memorial Bridge, connecting Delaware and New Jersey. The second I realized where I was (i had never rode, and obviously never driven this portion of I-95 before), I knew a toll was imminent. Danyell passed out in the passenger seat after drinking in traffic through Washington D.C. The traffic was terrible. I don’t blame anyone for drinking in that mess. It took almost the same amount of time to get from Washington D.C to New York City then it did from Montgomery, Alabama to Richmond, Virginia – which is a huge chunk of territory.
Obviously, my favorite show is The Sopranos. So, I got a little bit too excited when I was crossing the bridge, because I knew what would happen – I would be forced to grab a ticket from this machine at what looks like to be a place you have to pay a toll – you just grab a ticket. Then, when you exit, you give the ticket to the toll booth clerk, and they will know how much to charge you depending on your exit.
When I grabbbed the ticket, I started glancing at it while driving from Exits 1 to 2. I only had about $6 cash on me, and we already found out the debit cards we had were useless, except one of hers, and I didn’t want to waste it on a toll. Plus, she was still asleep. I’d figure when she’d open her eyes she’d see sunny New York…not greeny New Jersey.
P.S. The stereotype that New Jersey is a trashcan is total…trash in itself. Yes, there are some disgusting cities that have refineries like in Baytown, TX and hold lots of trash and the Port of Newark doesn’t help. But in no one way shape or form, is the entire state of New Jersey, disgusting. Not a chance. Maybe….10% could be classified in the most obnoxious view as disgusting.
New Jersey is the most urban state in the country. Don’t talk shit about it.
Well, I have visuals – which is what makes this memoir so great. Here is the entire path I took to get into Staten Island, to cross the Outerbridge Crossing.
Delaware Memorial Bridge crossing:
Here are Exits 1 via 2:
Here are Exits 2 via 3:
Around this time, I started going crazy, because I knew I was in reach of the New York radio towers. I had no idea how to work her stupid MP3/CD player and switch it to “AM” I grabbed the brochure for the radio from the glove box and to do that I had to lean on her a little which woke her up.
“Where are we? ….and what are you doing?” she says, literally wiping her eyes waking up, as I’m fucking pounding on the steering wheel trying to figure out how to change stations.
“HOW THE FUCK DO YOU TURN THIS BITCH TO AM?”
“YES, AM. LIKE CHEAP RADIO. THE LONG STATIONS. I DON’T FUCKING KNOW, I JUST WANT TO LISTEN TO 1010 WINS AND FIND OUT ABOUT THE TRAFFIC!”
“I don’t know, I’ve never put it on AM in here.”
“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!” Exits 3 via 4:
Exits 4 via 5:
“YES!!!!!” I declare, when I finally press a button that gets us onto AM radio. I turned it to 1010 WINS, the most popular radio station in the country. “Give us 22 minutes, we’ll give you the world. Dootdootdoot-dootdootdoot; dootdootdoot-dootdootdoot” For the next 3 and a half weeks, I hounded Danyell with this radio station – only news and a quick sports fix. This is before I ever did a podcast for The Warzone. Now I have over 175 radio show podcast links.
“FUCK!!!!” I yell, listening to the traffic report. Everything jammed. And I was still in the middle of fucking New Jersey!!!! My average speed was somewhere around 40 mph. Speed limit was 65 mph.
Exits 5 via 6:
Exits 6 to 7A:
Exits 7A to 8:
Exits 8A to 9:
“We’re almost there……..” I say, with a sadistic look on my face.
“Yeah, I only got enough money to take the Outerbridge.”
“What’s the Outerbridge?”
“It’s a bridge that goes into Staten Island”
“The bridge is called the Outerbridge?”
“No, some guy named Outerbridge was named for it. It’s the Outerbridge Crossing.”
And the party begins.
Exits 9A to 11:
NJT to Outerbridge Crossing:
The Outerbridge Crossing:
“We’re in New York. WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”