Monday, August 14, 2017


The last time I drove on the Cross Bronx Expressway was in 2009. At that time, as I have on all previous occasions on that road, I muttered "The next time I decide to take this road remind me to get my head examined."

I have driven on the Cross Bronx about a dozen times in my life. Never has it been congestion free. Despite my history, I followed the wisdom of Mapquest on Sunday and, after three hours of easy driving, was stuck in bumper to bumper traffic as I approached the George Washington Bridge.

I was on my way to the third or fourth annual Zaremba-thon.  My cousin Hillel has organized these in the summer.  The first must have been a dozen years ago and I went to it.  I have missed the last couple as the prospect of trekking to Philadelphia has been offputting. This year I was determined to go which did not seem like a wise decision as I was cursing myself for taking the Cross Bronx Expressway.

When I finally got over the bridge it was smooth sailing until I got to Philadelphia itself.  Then, because Mapquest apparently believes I am a pelican as opposed to a motorist, it guided me to the most direct route to my cousin's home which, unfortunately, is a road with 2,011 stop lights.  Eventually, six and a half hours after I started out, I arrived at my cousin's home.

And after only 15 minutes, it was clear that the entire six plus hours were worth every bumper to bumper second. Jack was in the pool, as was Noam and Moshe.  Sophie was on a raft with some floating things on her arm so the three year old (she told me four times) could not sink despite her efforts to see if she could swim.  Hillel's kids, Alex, Sarah, and Dan, were all there smiling in the sun.  I got to speak with Sam, and Joan and Joan's mom, a former Bostonian. Matt and Shannon continue to be beyond wonderful. What a treat.

We ate and shmoozed and laughed.  Jack, now all of 8, decided to coordinate a race "of all the kid cousins" which he, go figure, managed to win.  Hillel took out a photo of his folks' wedding and identified to Jack who the people were in the picture.  "This is my mother and father. This is your grandpa and grandma. Here is your great grandfather. All celebrating my parents' wedding." Jack was engaged and impressed.  "Hey" he asked, "Was this the first Zaremba-thon?"  That brought a laugh from the assembled.  "Yeah" said Hillel, "I guess in this country, this was the first Zaremba-thon."
Our parents would have been so tickled by this exchange.

Back now after quite a bit of driving. Worth every second on the road.

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