So, when you jump off a plane at JFK, scramble down to the asininely outdated international baggage claim at the Delta Flight Center (f/k/a Pan Am Worldport), and then haul your crap up an outdoor concrete ramp (complete with dangerous crosswalk) to the Airtrain elevator, you don’t exactly expect the rest of the journey to be fraught with intrigue. After all, the Airtrain is a godsend – whisking you directly to the subway (or if you’re tired and feeling rich, the LIRR) station of your choice for only a fiver.
This was not the case last Wednesday afternoon, when the Airtrain broke down immediately upon my boarding it, and I was prevailed upon to disembark only one terminal closer to my goal of getting home and collapsing on the couch (did I mention I had a good time in Berlin?). Fortunately, I was not sucked into believing that the Port Authority would have replacement shuttle busses out in force at any point in the then-near future (and, you know what, they probably STILL don’t), so I found a city bus stop and, after a false start with a broken-down bus, was on my merry Q10 way off the airport.
Several twists and turns later, we made our way to Lefferts Boulevard, which I guess comprises the bulk of the Q10’s route. Fortunately for the passengers that, like me, were using the Q10 as ersatz-subway-connection (this would be one word in German, by the way), the Q10 connects to both A and E/F trains, respectively; the A connection is the end of the Liberty Avenue El (the Lefferts Blvd/useless branch of the A train).
It was my first time on the ground in the area, and I was immediately targeted by about six different gypsy cab drivers who pegged me, at least partially correctly, as a tourist (looking glazed and having a rolling suitcase didn’t help matters). But I was determined, as is my wont, to make lemonade out of Port Authority lemons: I was going to find a place to get some kind of Trinidadan snack to munch on while I rolled back to Brooklyn on the A.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have my regular bag with me, or I would have known that list denizen sixty-nine, Singh’s Roti Shop #3, was a block or two away. So I ended up at a place called “Eat Well” or something to that effect, which had far more equipment for sale than actually in use. I guess I would have been in luck if I had enough room for a refrigerator in my suitcase; I instead opted for an aloo pie, the shell of which was a kind of greasy bread that was not warm but not the tragedy of texture I was expecting as a result. It was filled with a potato-spice mixture that was perhaps slightly lighter on the fire than I would have liked, but satisfied my boundless post-airline-food hunger. The diet Coke, on the other hand, was expired. Seriously.