We were driving back from brunch when we hit a gigantic, unavoidable pothole.
Paying attention to typical city distractions, the car was already halfway in the behemoth gap of missing concrete before we even noticed its presence. The right-front wheel emitting traumatic noises, my boyfriend issuing a steady stream of choice words, and the idrive computer system chiming with emergency alerts, we pulled over.
Of course there was no spare tire to speak of. So, we drove to the nearest AAA center. In the projects.
After arriving at the sketchily-located facility, the attendant instructed us to take our valuables from the vehicle while it was mended (Now, isn’t that just a great sign!) Grabbing our phones and camera, we took off down the random street to explore our surroundings for the next two hours.
At first things didn’t seem that bad.
Agreeing that a blown tire could have been a very dangerous incident (Thank you, Allstate Insurance commercials) we tried to maintain a positive attitude. Spotting several signs advertising a local winery, Vino Nuevo, we decided to make the most of the predicament. Through the overgrown and graffiti’d streets we ventured, sidestepping abandoned warehouses and dilapidated cars like George Clooney in a sea of engagement rings.
Vino Nuevo was our mirage in the desert. A diamond in the rough. We trudged up the street, craning our sunburnt necks in the direction of any possible wine-selling establishment. (Gas station! Gentlemen’s club! Laundromat!), while discussing the merits of malbec. I planned to order a plate of cheese to accompany our afternoon drinks. Sure, we had just eaten $18 huevos rancheros in Brooklyn, but who doesn’t have room for a great piece of stilton.
However (after the casual, half mile walk in 9,204 degree weather), our necks soon turned an even darker shade of crimson. Finally arriving at the destination, we threw open the heavy wooden winery doors. It was instantly – enormously – apparent that Vino Nuevo was not a purveyor of upscale beverages. It wasn’t that luscious palm tree, swaying by its lonesome, next to a crystal pond in Death Valley. Or the sizable gem lying in a sand pit. And most unfortunately, it did not offer liquid respite from the intense summer heat, or specialize in artisan blends and gourmet cheese.
“Vino Nuevo” was a Hispanic church service.
I took these photos on the long(er), hot(er) walk back to AAA.