Last weekend I decided to do some random geocaching, and opted to cruise out east on Long Island rather then spend 4 hours to drive 2 miles in Brooklyn.
I have to tell you though, people around here have this weird tendency to give me the most disturbing stares. I don’t mean mere glances either, I mean stone cold, “I Want to Murder You DEAD Because You Dared to Pollute My Life With Your Existence” kind of stares. Everywhere I went, I got this evil look, but the best was when I headed into a commuter parking lot off the expressway to find a micro sized geocache, and before I can find a space, this guy literally drives around my car, gawking at me the whole time. Full circle too. Eventually he drove off, but it took me a moment to try to comprehend what the flip happened before I finally recovered and pulled into a space. Thankfully, the geocache was an uneventful find from there.
Next up was a fake rock cache near the entrance of a preserve. This clearly had a spot to park too, but it didn’t matter. As soon as I got out, cars would literally slow down so people would stare at me, and then slowly drive off again. You could almost hear the ominous Twilight Zone music in the background playing while all this craziness was going down. I mean seriously, am I wearing a clown suit? What is this crap?
I wish I could say this was just one of those unusual circumstances, but it seems to happen every time I come out here. I do my best to ignore it, but you always get this feeling that wherever you go, your presence is unwelcome and unwanted. Oy. It really does take the fun out of geocaching given all the hostility around me. And even if I didn’t see it, I could sure FEEL it.
Still, I pressed on. For one of my last geocaches I headed out to Centerport, especially since I learned there was a nearby joint called THE SHACK that reportedly offered tasty “boigas” (I say boigas instead of burgers, it just sounds like a funsier way of saying my second favorite word. ) I had a hankering for a boiga too, if for no other reason than to have an excuse to quote Samuel Jackson: “Mmmmmm, this IS a tasty burger!” Yeah, I’m weird like that.
Before going full on Pulp Fiction though, it was off to find the geocache hidden at yet another one of the nearby preserves. I parked, then went in and began a nice walk into the woods. There was hardly anyone around, and I was finally starting to feel more at ease after the Children of the Corn experiences I’ve having earlier.
And yet, almost as if to add to the ongoing Twilight Zone theme today, I came across a field of… cacti. Seriously. Full blown cactus plants, growing in the wilderness… on LONG ISLAND??
By this time the geocache was now behind me, so I doubled back after taking pictures of the cacti and got onto another trail, where I eventually came upon the ruins of an old boat surrounded by a thick vegetation of poison ivy, poison ivy, and ooh lookie here, MORE poison ivy! Somewhere in all that thickness, a geocache was waiting to be found.
By this time the humidity was really starting to get to me, so after a careful (but frustrating and curse filled) search around the PI, I opted to say frick it, and leave. Still, I hate to leave a geocache unfound, so I decided on a hunch to give it ONE more try, and lo and behold, there it was. Who’s awesome? I’m awesome.
With another cache in the find column, it was time to celebrate with a tasty boiga! I got out of the preserve and headed down the street to THE SHACK.
And of course, the stares again.
I should have aimed the camera at these morons just to show my readers here I’m not imagining this, but when one gives you an icy cold homicidal stare-down, it’s probably best not to provoke them any more than necessary.
I did like the ambiance of the place though, like a clam bar by the pier (which in actuality was what it was, not a burger joint). It’s only downside was that it was on a major highway rather than by the docks, so it did tend to look awkwardly out of place. Still, something about the ambiance reminded me of Lake George in upstate New York, so I stuck around.
I placed my order with a bored waitress at the window, who took down my order in typical Long Island hospitality. Which is to say, with all the friendliness of a prison guard from Rikers. Sigh.
Too much hostility all around, so I decided to go eat in the car. Eventually they brown bagged the boiga, handed it off to me and I quickly jogged back to my ride, opened it up and…
Are you kidding me? Really? Oh and by the way, that burger cost me $4. FOUR DOLLARS. I knew I should have went to a Five Guys instead.
To be fair though, this was really a seafood place rather than a burger joint, so I would have to presume their clams, chowdah, fishiesfoods and whatnot would be their speciality, not burgers. Only thing is, I hate seafood. Yeah I know, I’m weird.
Not wanting the evening to be ruined with a substandard boiga, I fired up Yelp on my iPod and found a pizzeria with a good rating just a few blocks down from there, called Timothy’s.
Looking like not much more than a hole in the wall, the pizza dudes though were friendly (heeeeeeeeeey Italians, the only sort that can resist the schizo mania that seems to plague Long Guuuuyland! :-D) I got a slice of a buffalo chicken pizza and… Mmm Mmm MMMMM! Delicious pizza had once again come to the rescue, nicely capping off an otherwise bizarre day of geocaching. It was… divine intervention.
I do think next weekend I’ll avoid the Long Island heebie jeebies and just hang out in Manhattan again. Trust me, even the muggers are friendlier there. Cuz see, when they rob you blind, at least they do it with a smile.