Scoot Commute

Out to Lunch on the Hill

Posted in Daily Commute, Vespa P by sbahn on 2009/08/12

For those who aren’t aware, Providence is a small city…population about 172,000 give or take the handful that we need to top Worcester as second largest city in New England (woohoo!). I went to lunch today with a prof from school. We arranged to meet at Constantino’s on Atwells Avenue at 1pm. I had to first pop by the credit union to pick up some cash to give to Tommy for the rental of the cabins for our stay in Roscoe, New York for Unadilla (oh yeeeeah!).

I’m zipping here and zipping there, I’m all over the place on the P. First stop, credit union. Park right in front, turn off the bike, take off gloves and oh, yeah, probably should take off my helmet because there’s a sign at the ATM to remove sunglasses and hoodies. I figure a helmet would get me in trouble ; the security guard stands just inside the main bank part and I’m not in the mood for a ‘talking to’.

I run in, bam, the machine spits out five Andrew Jacksons, and I’m outta dair. All told, 45 seconds. I come out to the scoot, put my helmet back on, and start to kick. Nothing. Oh, come on, you cannot be that hot from our little 2 mile drive. Kick, kick, kick, grrrrrr rrrrrrrrrraaaaaarrrr. Ok, good, I’m in a rush and it’s humid today.

Zooom, down around the library (that other library now that the Providence Community Library is running the branch system), and…red light. Come on. I see Jerome come out of the back door at Trinity and wave. Green light and I pull up in front. Jerome comes over and I yell over the bleat-bleat-bleat of the two-stroke, “Tommy ’round?” He answers in the affirmative and I ask him to watch the bike because I don’t want to turn it off. I shove the cash into the inter-office envelope I took from work and ran into the bar. The bartender recognizes me (I’ve only met him a couple of times) even though I hadn’t taken off my helmet. Sometimes I forget I’m wearing it I’ve grown so used to having it on. Probably not a good thing. I ask if he can give the envelope to Tommy and he says “Sure thing”. Let’s hope I have a cabin reserved.

I run back out and hop on the bike, tear down Washington and loop back around by the Convention Center and the Dunk. I swerve up by the Holiday Inn and across the bridge and onto Atwells. The pineapple greets me as does a lot of traffic. “It’s 1pm on Wednesday,” I think to myself, “why is there so much traffic?”

It takes two cycles to get through the light at Dean, but then I pull up in front of Venda and take my rockstar parking spot. I’ve parked here before; it’s a little cut-out between the sidewalk and the street before the area where cars actually parked. Last time I parked here I had some guys who were either associated with Venda or just old time Italians from the ‘hood ask me all kinds of questions about my scoot (I had  the Buddy at the time). No one this time.

The person I was meeting was sitting patiently at the fountain in DePasquale Square, and next to her was sitting one of my neighbors. I thought they were together, but no. Just a weird, random coincidence.

We had a delicious meal, sitting outside near the fountain. I’ve never eaten at Venda and had no idea the outside area was part of the shop. Seven years here, learned something new. I had the ravvies. I love ravioli. I could live on ravioli. Yum.

Finishing up the meal with a cappucino, we parted ways as she was parked off Spruce Street in the opposite direction. I put on my jacket and walk toward the scoot. I pull my helmet and gloves out of the milkcrate and push my messenger bag into the crate. Fasten up the net over the crate andkick-kick-grrrr-vroooom-putt-putt. I begin to pull my helmet on and I hear my name called in the dulcet tones that can only belong to Doug. The way he elongates the vowel in the second syllable; it’s music to a New Yorker’s ears.

We quickly caught up on the sales and purchases in the neighborhood, and he asked me if the Vespa was new. I looked at him and then at the P and said, “umm, no?” He clarified that he meant ‘new-to-me’ and I laughed (because Doug isn’t an idiot) and said, “This old thing? We’ve had it for years.” Which is true, but I forget that not everyone knows the insanity that is our stable. I really like Doug; he always makes me laugh.

I pulled my helmet back on (I had remebered to remove it when holding a conversation with another person), pulled on gloves, and pulled onto the street, heading back to campus.

Uneventful rest of the day. As I was riding home I saw a covered scoot on Dean Street behind where Ada’s Books used to be (by the New City Arts place  or whatever it’s called). It was a Pamplona as I could see the E sticker on the fender sticking out from under the cover. “Hmmm,” I thought, “never seen that before.” I’m wondering if it’s new or the same one that’s in my garage (a neighbor parks her Pamp in my garage…I can be nice sometimes).

When I got home the Pamp wasn’t there so I think it may be the same one. I’ll have to ask next time I see Fran. The good news is that Fran and her husband/boyfriend are buying a multi and moving from the block (not that it wouldn’t be good if they bought on the block), but it will free up another space in the garage so I can get my CT90 out of the basement. I really think I may make that my winter commuter if it plays nice and wants to kick-start in the cold.

Next: getting ready for the Friday ride to Upstate Nueva York!

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