Adventure on Storm King Mountain
Ms. Francesca Parker and Ms. Kate Pickering made off for a certain Storm King Mountain for a music festival not many days ago. The festival featured a "new" show called Headset Sextet by one Joshua Fried, for whom franny once interned (also remixer for such as TMBG, Beastie Boys [!] and Nico [!]). It was cool, but alas not at all the centerpiece of our story.

The story properly begins with our arrival at the Garrison, NY train station at 6:09pm, with neither reservations for the ride up the mountain, nor tickets. What can we say, it was one of those last-minute things. Fortunately, there was a bus there for the festival, but it needed to wait for the 7:05 train and the one (!) other festivalian it carried. So we befriended this very nice man whose name we never got but whose wife performs regularly for joshua and who franny had talked to on the phone lo those many years ago (we do know *her* name). He was the only
other one waiting. (!) So the wait passed pleasantly enough, except maybe around 7:15 when the 7:05 hadn't arrived yet and the "35-45 minute" ride to the 8 o'clock show for which we lacked tickets hadn't started. The ride turned out to only be 20 minutes, though, and all was well through the end of the show. We even got to meet joshua's mom and hear her use the word "fuck." Performance art is great.

Anyway. Here's where the fun begins. We narrowly (NARROWLY) miss the 10:30 train because the bus needed to wait around (again) for one last passenger who as it turned out didn't actually exist. So there we were back at the Garrison station, with another hour to kill. Did we mention that neither of us had eaten since lunch? Accompanying us were a Russian couple ( Novye Russkie, if the term means anything to you - tochno ) who had
also attended the concert. As franny and kate went off to the pay phone to see if we could get pizza delivered to the Garrison, NY station platform (west side), our Russians wondered aloud how much it would cost to get a cab to the city.

"From *here*??"

Well, couldn't hurt to find out. Whipping out her handy-dandy 30-minutes-free-from-AT&T™ card (was there ever a better occasion to use it?), Kate inquired.

"From *here*??" answered the cab guy, "to New *York*?"
100 bucks.
Discussion ensued. Nasha modnaya devochka (aka the Russian chick) eventually offered to pay 75 if we wanted to share, so we called back.

Cab guy confessed to having felt bad after Kate hung up the first time, enough to check the train schedule.

"You do know there's an 11:30 train, right?"

It didn't seem prudent to attempt an explanation of New Russians and cold knees and empty stomachs and all that, especially not on an empty stomach and shivering knees and so on.

Cab guy goes on to explain that he'd promised the cab to some cadets from West Point arriving on the 11:30, and if we were really in a pickle, he'd ditch them (yay! ditch the cadets! ooh - sorry)  to help us out, but since, in fact, there was one last train available and thus our pickle-status questionable to say the least, he would like to point out that "Garrison is really a lovely place to kill an hour."

He suggested we go up the hill, in fact (alone in the dark at 11pm, when we weren't sure which "hill" he referred to, as we were pretty completely surrounded by mountains), to the spot where they filmed Hello, Dolly.

Gosh, Kate replied, I had no idea Hello, Dolly was filmed here. While her companions made noises of impatience and inquiry, and the Russian chick asked whether Cab Guy wanted our hundred bucks or what.

Well, it *was* filmed there, and you could even see the house that Walter Mathau's character lived in. (hm, how timely, kate thought). Also, in the museum (do the museums in Garrison, NY stay open past 11pm?), there was a toilet seat on the wall with a sign saying "Barbra Streisand sat here."

Kate's subsequent outburst made even Franny inquire whether she was having a nice little chat with Cab Guy of Garrison, NY, or what. Well, it kinda wound down from there. Kate assured him that we would, in any case, enjoy what was left of our stay in Garrison. 

At this point the Russians gave up on us entirely, and started searching for nearby hotels with their cell phone. Leaving kate and franny to return to their original, and indeed most urgent, task. To wit, acquiring a pizza, on the double. If you've been following along at all, it probably won't surprise you to discover that "no place in Wessex county delivers at this hour." At least, not the Dominoes or Pizza Huts, which was all we could try since "Information cannot perform yellow page services." In the end, all we gained from the first ten minutes of my AT&T Free Fone Card was the sympathy of four very kind and reasonably wakeful denizens of Garrison, NY, which was pretty remarkable, "at that hour." Not to mention, we killed 20 minutes.

Franny and Kate proceeded to cut their losses and enjoy a banquet of gum, Altoids™, animal cracker crumbs and pain killers on the platform under the sign saying "Why go to the grocery store when it can come to you?" Meanwhile, our Russian friends are heard to giggle from the overpass between platforms, and rush into the elevator. Franny has barely a chance to get out a joke on the "Mile High Club," before the elevator reaches the bottom, opens, and closes again amid giggles but no visible Russians. Hmm.

As they say in Hollywood, <fade to black> <cut>

We finally got safely on our train, careful to find a car separate from our overly affectionate Russian friends, only to have them join us later by direction of the conductor, who was found to be considerably less solicitous -- and ubiquitous -- later on. Like when the guy in a red jogging suit, green sunglasses with silver-chain sides, and some weird speech impediment that made him completely incomprehensible decided to sit down across from us and attempt to engage us in conversation of a suspect nature for the entire remainder of our trip home.

From Grand Central, we proceeded immediately to the TGIFridays™ down the block, hoping for food, drink and desserts in impossibly large quantities. We were a little afraid they might be closed at 1:30 am, but no - the beautiful welcoming doors were wide open. Veritably calling to us. It seemed our luck had changed at last. We were to be embraced in the warm welcoming bosom of chain restaurant coziness.

But no one was inside. *no* one. We had our run of the place. This was fun for a while, but hunger soon drove us on. We're still half convinced the staff might have been taken hostage and left tied up in the basement the whole time. Stay tuned for further reports. Anyway, we moved on, weaving around the dozens of drunken sailors and college students hanging around 42nd street and offering us anything from a slurred "hey girrrss," to "20 bucks a pop." An all-night Pronto Pizza came to our rescue -- pronto. Once we had some grease in our stomachs, we revived somewhat and called off plans to proceed up broadway in search of anything else edible or imbibable, deciding to call it a night and go home. This was easier said than done, what with our general disorientation (and you say you grew up here, franny?), the construction on the 1/9 line and its ear-pulverizing drilling, etc. But we made it back and life has once again returned to normal. Next time joshua needs to fill seats in a distant locale, though, we're bringing pack lunches.

Next time you're all coming with, too, right?

Franny and Kate prepare a feast of lipstick, one serving packet of cozy chamomile tea, Halls™, Altoids™, Blistex™, gum, leftover painkillers from Franny's wisdom tooth extraction, and some animal cracker crumbs.
Franny sniffs the tea. Ahhh. 
Kate determines to enjoy her piece of gum to the very fullest.
Franny ponders the possible caloric contents of her painkillers.
"Why go to the grocery store when it can come to you?"
Oh, indeed, indeed. Kate mourns having gobbled those animal crackers lo those many hours ago....
Finally, we amuse ourselve for the last few minutes before the train arrives with some self-inflicted photo moments. Yes, folks, this is Kate and Franny on little sleep, no food, and way too much sugar.....

Return to franny's home. Or kate's.