I love driving in New York City. Except for the gas lines this November, the potholes, the manic taxi drivers, the bikers without helmets who make dangerous moves, the jerk in the brown, banged-up Honda CR-V who cut me off in the lane to my exit on the BQE (Brooklyn-Queens Expressway), the one-way streets, and the ridiculous cost of parking in a garage for just sixty seconds.
But really. I love driving in New York City. The 2013 Ford Mustang in Gotta Have It Green is just one reason why. I picked up the Mustang recently in midtown Manhattan. Cool cars bring out the best in New Yorkers, and in true form, the hubbub over the Mustang started at the parking garage gate as the men swooned over the horse’s reflection. New Yorkers are not shy with questions or with praise. They’re honest – a trait I value as a journalist.
Pulling out onto Fifty-Third Street, I hopped onto our miniature autobahn, the West Side Highway, and hightailed it downtown. There is nothing like finding your favorite radio station, rolling the window down, and opening up the engine on the west side. It’s a very made-in-Manhattan moment. I made a left onto Canal Street, where traffic was moving at a predictable crawl due to the long line of aggressive Jersey drivers jockeying for position to the Holland Tunnel. On Canal Street, I heard a honk, a normal New York thing that still makes me jump.
A guy in a BMW 3 Series rolled his window down and shouted, “Where in Michigan are you from?” (Ford press cars are laced with MICH plates.) “I’m from Michigan, too!” “Detroit is everywhere,” I said, revving the V-6 engine for effect. It doesn’t take monster horsepower to impress New Yorkers. No sir. The funny thing about New York is that you never really get above 50 mph on the streets, which gives you plenty of time to people watch.
Traffic started moving again, and I veered onto the upper level of the Manhattan Bridge. To my right I had the Brooklyn Bridge and a bird’s-eye view of the Statue of Liberty. To my left was the stately Williamsburg Bridge – just your average million-dollar view on my daily commute. Back in my Brooklyn borough, I made my way to my parking garage, a luxury I pay for (at $250 to $300 a month, parking in my part of Brooklyn is cheaper than the average of $400 a month or more in Manhattan). That beats fighting for an alternate-side spot on the street with my neighbors.
Brooklyn has long been drivable. Take a look at the cars tooling around Bay Ridge in the Saturday Night Fever if you don’t believe me.