Lame Adventure 459: Finally Thawing Out

Some people stalk other people, predators stalk prey, pigeons stalk pizza and I have been stalking a Ford Windstar minivan. My obsession with a suburban family vehicle that I would normally dismiss as a dull lump of basic transportation since I find its design about as stimulating as labor camp architecture, began one night eleven days ago. It was a cold Monday that was sandwiched between two days of snowstorms. I exited my laundromat on West 74th Street when this particular snow blanketed vehicle caught my eye.

Mystery canoe-like contraption on roof.

Mystery canoe-like contraption on roof.

Someone had turned that entire blandmobile into whimsical rolling art. I snapped a shot of it with my iPhone wondering who painted it? I noticed that the plates were from California. That made me think of the lyrics to an old Mamas and Papas song, California Dreamin’:

“All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey
I’ve been for a walk on a winters’ day
I’d be safe and warm if I was in L.A.
California dreamin’ on such a winters’ day”

Me (thinking): If a minivan could talk, I bet it’s singing that song right now.

I returned home to my safe and warm sanctum sanctorum with minivan dreamin’ on my mind. The next morning, while walking to the subway to go to The Grind, I headed up West 74th Street specifically to see what it looked like in daylight.

Ta da! (And still clueless about that rooftop contraption.)

Ta da! (And still clueless about that rooftop contraption.)

The following Sunday I did another load of laundry and was delighted to see that it was still parked in the same space. And it had company!

Is it dating a mattress?

Is it dating a mattress?

This week, temperatures finally started to rise, it hasn’t snowed and thanks to recent rain, the acres of snow are rapidly melting. The New York Times ran a story about what’s started surfacing underneath the melting snow: a lot of dog crap, cigarette butts and tons of trash such as this soggy Mickey D’s bag befouling my street.

There goes the neighborhood.

There goes the neighborhood.

I wondered what the Windstar looked like with the snow washed away? As I walked down West End Avenue en route to the subway Wednesday morning, I looked up West 74th Street and could see the distinctive wooden apparatus on the minivan’s hood. Finally I was able to see it free of Mother Nature’s dandruff.

Perfect day to reveal that sunshine on the hood!

Perfect day to reveal that sunshine on the hood!

The temperature when I returned home from The Grind on Wednesday.

The temperature when I returned home from The Grind on Wednesday.

Works for me.

Works for me.

 

Advertisements

72 responses to “Lame Adventure 459: Finally Thawing Out

  1. I wasn’t sure where you were going with the minivan, but at the end, I laughed! Cheers to the warming trend … but I’m still wondering what’s atop the van.

    Got your email, Need to respond, but busy days lie ahead.

    Like

  2. OK seriously I’m on the train and laughed out loud as I read this post!
    I hope things with the minivan and mattress work out.. Their offspring would be so cute.. (gratuitous mattress pun intended )!
    Here’s to a happy Thawday!

    Like

  3. LOL I love the design… I am a truck lover myself… so.. lol

    Like

  4. And indeed all the remnants found under the melting snow would be an archaeologist’s dream!

    Like

  5. Vendor display tables, seeking shelter from the storm?

    Here’s to some sunny days!

    Cheers,

    R.

    Like

  6. I’m still wondering what that thing is on the roof, but the wonderful sun on the hood is perfect! Glad it’s warming up there, V. It’s really nice here too. Here’s to spring – I’ll raise a pint of craft beer to you this weekend.

    Like

    • I’m referring to the canoe-type-apparatus on the roof, Cathy, as a Whatever-the-Hell because that’s pretty much a variation of what I thought when I first saw it (“What the hell is that?). Cheers!

      Like

  7. Spring is coming! Soon temps will hit the 90’s and we won’t remember the cold. It happens every year.
    I used to have a Windstar. Someone was watching over us during its demise…..

    Like

  8. It really is scary to find what lurks beneath all this snow. Fortunately we still have a four foot mountain right on top of all the crap we left out the yard last year. I don’t expect to see any of it until June.

    Like

  9. That’s a hippie van, V. And one, during my heyday, I would have ridden in, most likely. Nice to have a “sign” of peace, love and sunshine peeping out of all that white stuff that has been dumped repeatedly on you guys. Enough already.

    I hope that nasty fast food wrappers, butts and dog poo are the worst that reveals itself once it’s all gone away.

    Yo Spring!

    Like

    • Come to think of it, Brig, it is a throwback to an earlier era, and would have fit in quite nicely in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashby 48 summers ago when I was a small fry.

      The other night, I was hanging out with Milton. He noticed a rat was running after us, but fortunately, we crossed the street and it darted straight ahead through pedestrian traffic into a pile of trash bags. I fear with all the snow melting, we’re heading for ratapalooza.

      But hey, yo spring back at ya!

      Like

  10. Loved the reveal of the van! Had one back in the day when my kids were younger and don’t know how I would have gotten through all the sports practices and car pools without it. Definitely a time where function over style just makes sense! If you get one with that paint job, you will be one cool mom. Our snow in Ohio is melting quickly, but the pot holes on the streets are really wearing on me.

    Like

    • Glad that you enjoyed the van reveal, Nurse Kelly, but as much as I enjoyed looking at this minivan’s custom paint job, I would sooner hang glide over an active volcano naked than ever drive one. If I can’t get to where I’m going via subway or bus, count me out. I have been noticing potholes on the streets over here, too. They sure are bad news for motorists.

      Liked by 1 person

      • LOL! Not your thing, eh? And I could just picture you driving around NYC in that thing! I have a tendency to want to believe everything I read and just need to reel myself in sometimes…

        Like

        • Absolutely not my thing. You thought that was my minivan?!?! I need a vehicle about as much as I need a tumor. No thanks.

          Liked by 1 person

          • One of the main selling points of NYC–one of the reasons I stayed for so many years–is because you don’t have to have a car. I loath autos and the act of driving. I was happy to be rid of it. Try getting away with that out in suburban New Jersey. Can’t be done. It’s a necessary burden.

            One more cold, wet blast on Friday. Then, that should be it. Beware St. Pat’s Day. Stay away from 5th Av.

            Like

            • Rest assured that I’ve no intention to go anywhere near green bagels or green beer, either. It also offends me knowing that people like me are not welcome at that parade. On my mom’s side I’m about a teaspoon Irish. She was a mutt who primarily identified as a San Franciscan. Wise woman.

              Like

  11. I’m pleased to read the snow is finally going, LA. Everywhere looks awful when its on its way out, so I hope it clears very soon for you.
    At least you found your (sun)light at the end of your (long winter) tunnel! It’s Spring now. Kinda…

    Like

    • The transition phase from winter to spring, Tom, is not very appealing on an aesthetic level. There are mounds of soot-speckled melting ice and a New York City specialty, end of winter street slime. It all seems toxic to me, but thanks to the cooler temperatures that are still prevailing, the odor is not noticeable. If the Sanitation Department could bleach every sidewalk, I’d welcome that.But at last, it is kinda spring now!

      Like

  12. I can’t believe all the crap (literally and figuratively) that was hidden beneath the piles of snow. As a dog person, I have no idea what makes people think that they don’t have to pick up after their dog when there’s snow on the ground. They know that the snow melts but the poop doesn’t, right?

    Liked by 2 people

    • If they didn’t know it then, they sure must know it now! I read in the Times that a woman was so disgusted with all the turds littering her block, she spray painted them gold. Maybe she also drives that Windstar?

      Like

  13. Hey, if you look closely at the “canoe” on the roof, someone named it the “La Sodom.” I wonder if there’s a sister ship named “Gomorrah.” Hmm….

    Like

  14. I wonder who lives IN the van…what happened to the Californians? I bet they hightailed it out of NYC flip flops and all…brutal winter. I’m sooo happy with the temps finally going above -22. Everyone is so much happier and friendlier.

    Like

  15. “I’m breaking up with winter, flirting with spring, and dreaming of summer.”
    THEN YOU”RE A WHORE! A FILTHY, FILTHY WHORE!

    Sorry! Glad to get that out of my system.

    I also get fascinated by stuff like the snow-bound hippie van. The out-of-state plates would have done it. Every time I see an out-of-state plate (and I mean from somewhere where it took some effort to get here, so no Nevada, Oregon, Washington or Arizona) I wonder what brought them here. Is it a trip? Business? A sick relative? They’ve moved and they’re too lazy to switch over? Exercises like that are a reminder of life’s fun complexity.

    And what IS the object on top of the car? You call it a “ray of sunshine” and the words “La Sodom” (yikes!) appear to be visible, but I can’t figure it out.

    Like

    • Gee Smak, much to my dismay, I’m not half the whore I used to be … We think alike about far out-of-state plates. The cynic in me, which comprises 99.9% of my being, tends to think that they’ve moved and they are too lazy to switch over. Sloths! As for that contraption on the roof, maybe it’s some type of do-it-yourself-badly storage?

      Like

  16. I wonder if the van owner was staying at the Alfie Arms. Kudos for correctly naming the van. Regarding the dog feces, some of the rudest people I have seen are pet owners.

    Like

    • Tom, one of my commenters, Brigitte, implied that someone might be living in it. I think she could be onto something. Clearly, anyone who was not compelled to clean up after their dog took a squat in snow, medalled in rudeness.

      Like

  17. When you can create a bit of whimsy out of suburbia, I say it is fabulous! I don’t want to flirt with spring, no I just want to dive full on into summer. Truly I do.

    Like

  18. Awesome van. Normally I would tell you how much I hate minivans…as a mom it’s my nightmare I was so worried I’d have to convert to minivan owner when we had kids, but I was able to fight it off, however if the mini van looked like California Dreaming over there, duuuuuude maybe … Maybe. And I’m loving that sidewalk chalk sign. Glad things are clearing up for you. Sending you warm thoughts from Cali.

    Like

    • Awwwwwwwww, thanks Guat. I’m thinking more and more that that minivan doubles as someone’s home on wheels. The owner should sell it to a museum if only to be able to afford indoor plumbing. Sending you thoughts of rain from the Big Apple, buddy.

      Like

  19. Association question: Snow-White. Looks like I may have to reconsider.

    I think the sidewalk chalk is on to something. It’s time to move on and leave your winter behind. It was fun while it lasted, but there’s a better way.

    Like

  20. Good to know things are finally warming up there. Maybe that is a homemade surfboard topping whatever other junk is on top of the van – it is a California hippie van after all.

    Like

  21. Gee, and I thought you only loved ’63 Impalas. Now, I find you’ve been flirting with a late-model minivan of all things. Shame on you! The next thing I know, you’ll be holed up inside of a Volkswagen hippie bus.

    Love the sidewalk sign. 🙂

    Like

    • Mammy Lame drove a 63 Belair, Pappy Lame had a 65 Impala. He bought his rainbow last year with a 2006 Camry in the garage. Rest assured that I will never shack up with a minivan, no matter how esoteric the paint job. That’s all the car facts I have to spew for now.

      As for that sign, not only is it now long washed away, the first day of spring forecast up here is for: snow!

      Like

  22. I’m so tired of winter. We got more snow today, but even the thaw will be ugly, revealing a whole winter’s worth of cigarette butts. Ugh.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s