austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

The place is a madhouse, feels like being cloned

Where to from pinball and the antique carousel? The Bumper Cars, which are right next to that. This, too, is a ride I used to be prohibited from on the grounds of being a tall person, but that height restriction's ... dropped? ... been forgotten, anyway, since then. I was a couple days away from my great conceptual breakthrough about bumper cars, but never mind.

Also at Playland and worth the visit: they've got some dark rides. Your classic proper thing where you sit in a small car and putter along while scary things startle you. Some great ones, too, with some of the best facades out there. Demons with rotating gears of teeth, or a dragon head that spews smoke. (The dragon head on the Dragon Roller Coaster does that too, although it's hard to see by day.) They're worth visiting if you're in the area and have any taste for dark rides; parks don't have enough of them anymore.

We stepped outside the park a little; since there's wristbands for the rides and no clunky metal detectors or anything there's not much reason to. This was first to use the most conveniently nearby bathrooms and second to look at the water. There's a boat that does little cruises on the water and that I don't think has ever been running a day we were at Playland. (Of course, we keep going there weekdays.) It was also a good chance to admire the main light tower, one of the great architectural joys of the park.

Back inside was a chance to poke around the other arcade, one with Skee-Ball and air hockey and four, count 'em, pinball machines. These included The Flintstones, Attack From Mars, Bugs Bunny's Birthday Bash, and Cyclone. Couldn't pass up the chance to play, although we did skip the first two titles since we can play them anywhere. Well, Attack From Mars we can play anywhere. The Flintstones has set up residence in the Blind Squirrel League so we play that often enough for how much we like the game. But Bugs? That's worth it, especially since the game never turns up in competition play. (The game has features where, like, you can steal someone else's score. This is great fun for clowning around with friends, but feels like a ripoff in tournament play.) And Comet? Years ago I had played this table at this park and got the jackpot, launching me onto the high score table. This time around? I did not.

bunny_hugger did, leaving her initials as grand champion on an amusement-park-themed game at one of the great amusement parks.

What could we do after that which wouldn't be anticlimax? Which, you know what? Never mind, we had hours left before the park would close. We caught the last few moments of the concert show, something I think was called ``Come Together'' that sang ``Hey Jude'' way too early and either finished with some 80s songs or just thought it was a good idea to have the singer dressed like any album cover from 1984. Another ride on The Dragon. A round at the shooting gallery, too, since that's more fun than you maybe remember it being. Looking at the historical plaques for text that's clearly been edited after the fact, or that just doesn't make sense as written. Soaking in the glories of what is already a beautiful park in the twilight and in the warm glow of early nightfall. The Musik Express. The Super Flight, one of the minor adult coasters. It's a 'Flying' coaster, so that you kind of lie down inside a cage that twists around the track. It's small and not actually that pleasant, at least for me. Puts too much weight on my ribcage. The first time I ever rode that I tucked my camera into my pocket, too, in a way that made it press into my hips the entire ride. This time I was smarter about that.

We missed the last of the adult coasters, the Family Flyer, but that's a pretty minor one. It's really more a kiddie steel coaster, but it allows adults on. We've ridden it in the past.

And we got one more ride on the Derby Racer, a night ride and one that showed the racers at full front-and-back action. It would be our last ride for the night; while we hustled back to the Dragon, they had already closed the queue for that. That's not something to be upset about; either's a great way to see out the night.

Naturally we lingered, talking with bunny_hugger's brother and taking in the beauty of the park at night, fully lit and dramatic against the black sky. Also it let us put off the question of just how sure he was that his car wouldn't break down before he could get back to his Brooklyn home. It didn't, and it would even make it to Michigan a few weeks later, but it's not the sort of thing you want to ponder.

Also not the sort of thing I wanted to ponder: while puttering around getting the car and the satellite navigator and the iPod all set up for the drive home I let my foot off the brake while the car was in gear and nearly bumped into a woman who was walking in front of us. She looked angry, and deservedly so, especially since she had motioned to us as she got in the car's path to make sure I knew she was there. No excuses; I just screwed up, and I'm lucky it was in a way that did nobody any lasting harm.

Somehow the drive back, even though it was nearly midnight, was as traffic-jammed along the Cross-Bronx Expressway as the way in was. I also remember clearly the fact that we saw some baffling van; we talked about the wonder of whatever it had to offer for a couple of miles. But what it was, now, I forget. I expect bunny_hugger remembers.

While driving the day of our anniversary arrived, and we said how happy we were for this to each other. We got hoagies from the Wawa to eat, as the best dinner practicable in the circumstance, and eventually got to a sound sleep.

Trivia: A 1924 around-the-world air flight took 75 days. Source: Mastering the Sky: A History of Aviation from Ancient Times to the Present, James P Harrison.

Currently Reading: Acceptance, Jeff Vandermeer.

PS: Poking around Richmond some more on a Sunday morning.


Dazzling brick pattern in the Richmond (Indiana) rose garden that might have the power to leave me hypnotized. It's even glossier in the sunlight and what's going on that you have glossy bricks?


Fairy door among the various posts and trellises in the rose garden. Also, yeah, corporate sponsors so I guess the First Bank of Richmond wanted to know it underwrote some fairy's habitation?

PPS: The Summer 2017 Mathematics A To Z: Topology, in which I only talk about doughnuts because I'm required to for the topic and then I move on to better stuff.

Tags: fifth anniversary trip, new jersey, reunion, rye playland

Posts from This Journal “fifth anniversary trip” Tag

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