A Year In New York

A Daily Bite of the Big Apple

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Day 67: The 8:38 to Nowhere

September 2nd · 3 Comments

The day in the Hamptons had started so well. After yesterday’s jellyfishing in Long Beach, Joo and I took the LIRR all the way to Montauk, on the far eastern tip of Long Island. Moment after Kodak moment, like these:

I always imagined the Hamptons as the sort of place where Gaylord plugs in the golf cart before joining Brittany up on the sundeck for whiskey sours. Indeed many such cottages were tucked in the trees, photo-ready for the J. Crew catalog, but Montauk proper was more downscale: The storefronts rented surfboards or sold discount flip-flops to the urban refugees who massed under beach umbrellas at Ditch Plains, and a band called the Surf Dogs jammed at the city park at dusk.

Thoroughly sandy and burnt, Joo and I boarded the 8:38 p.m. train headed back to Manhattan. A three-hour tour.

Somewhere on route to Amagansett, the train stuttered to a stop.

“There’s been a mechanical problem…” the conductor’s voice had the flat tones of the Bronx, and he hesitated, not sure how to say the next thing. “Actually, uh, we hit a dee-ahh.” Deer.

Back in the station, we 30 or so passengers had more than enough time to ask questions and piece together the story. The engine had collided with a giant ten-point buck. Bambi’s dad didn’t survive, and neither did one of the engine’s crucial airhoses.

How do you get thirty or so hapless tourists back to New York by morning? Just after midnight, the answer arrived in the form of a charter bus. We took our seats. Just then, one of the train mechanics ran up with news: they’d fixed the engine.

Three hours of staring at the back of a train seat, wearing sunglasses against the fluorescent glare. The train finally rolled into Penn Station at 3:30 am.

Tags: Getaways

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Sulley // Sep 2, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    Now a ten point buck means it had big horns, or the train got ten points for the hit? Is a squirrel worth any points?

  • 2 Les // Sep 5, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    Deer meat road or traintrack kill, mmmmmmmmmgood!

  • 3 Bev // Sep 7, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    Very cool train seat pic. You’re getting to be, unless you already were, a very good photographer as well.

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