This weekend we went to a lovely wedding in the Poconos, and that meant renting a car. Everything went smoothly, even our complicated double-one-way rental arbitrage, until I tried to return the car in New York today to the Enterprise on 53rd between 5th and 6th.

It turns out that 5th Avenue was closed for the Puerto Rico Day Parade … and 53rd runs Westbound. Topologically, it was not possible to access the rental car agency.

I eventually developed a stratagem: drive all the way around the parade, then come at 6th south of 53rd, then drive up 6th, meet the officer stationed on that corner, and explain the problem to them.

It took a heck of a long time, driving through worst case scenario traffic, to make that first loop, and then it still didn’t work. Every time I tried to turn onto 6th, police were forcing everyone to go straight, no turns allowed. I have no idea why; cars were driving down 6th like No Big Deal.

On my fourth or fifth attempt, I finally managed to turn onto 6th … only to discover that 53rd had been opened, and was full of traffic. I would have to come at it from the East, assuming that they would let me make the turns required to get there. Luckily, on 54th I spotted an unlisted back entrance to the rental car agency. Thank goodness.

The whole business took 2.5 hours, during which time I subsisted on white fudge pretzels and Starburst … and drove less than 10 miles.

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