As far as I know, Levi is in New York right now. He tells me he’s going to the Mets-Cardinals game on Saturday (and I’m going to the Dodgers-Braves game here in L.A. on Saturday).
Now, he’s with his wife and some friends from the U.K. Their plans were to rent a car and drive from Chicago to New York (and then back) so the British folks could see the country, or at least what one can see from the Interstate between Chicago and New York. Since even Levi knows a car can be a liability in New York, I first suggested two one-way rentals, but those were ridiculously expensive. So my other suggestion was that Levi park the car in New Jersey near public transportation, and the only good place I could come up with where he could definitely park it overnight and it would be reasonably secure was the long-term parking lot at Newark International Airport.
I gave Levi careful directions for how to get from the airport to the apartment the group is renting near Columbus Circle, via NJ Transit commuter train and subway. They were supposed to arrive this afternoon sometime.
This evening, this happened, on the very train tracks Levi would have been traveling over between Newark and New York. Perhaps Levi has started smoking, and threw his cigarette out the window when he saw the conductor coming. At any rate, I certainly hope Levi was safely in New York by that point, since my careful directions did not account for the possibility of trains not running due to a fire!
Levi, on the off chance you’re reading this: if those tracks aren’t open yet by the time you’re leaving NYC, I think the best alternate way to get back to Newark Airport would be to take the downtown C train to World Trade Center, then take the PATH subway (separate fare) to Newark Penn Station, and then take the next NJ Transit train to Newark Airport.
Levi: The fire occurred about an hour after we crossed, right around the time I was praising Jim for giving us flawless directions that were easy to follow, and about four minutes before the crazy woman from whom we rented an apartment started hollering about how she wasn’t told there would be four people staying there.
Big Ben: For future reference, the terminus of the Gladstone Branch of the NJT Morris & Essex lines (Gladstone Station) has free parking. I’ve parked there for as many as five days with no trouble. It’s not necessarily secured, but it’s in a quiet New Jersey ‘burb that feels pretty safe. The Summit station on the same line has paid ($5/day) parking that is probably a little more secure.
levi’s help-mate: hey there jim,
levi probably already told you, but we passed over that bridge two hours before the fire. and he probably also told you that on the way home we stopped in philly to catch the cardinals again!