Moving to NYC with an MGB inside an 18 foot U-Haul

Many years ago, when I married my second wife, we moved to New York so she could attend the school of Visual Arts. I wanted to keep my MG (not a good idea in the city, but that’s another story). So we found a cattle ramp in Roanoke county, backed the truck up to it, and drove the MG right in. Then we went home and loaded everything else.

Unfortunately, I didn’t put a lot of thought into the “unloading” part of the process.

We had rented a 4th floor walkup on East 24th St. As I was trying to navigate the 18 footer down the narrow street, some helpful neighbor came out and started giving me directional signals, until he helpfully helped me rip the bumper off a car parked right across the street from our apartment.

He told me his cousin owned a body shop, and could fix the bumper for $300. I told him I had insurance, and to call the police.

“No, you don’t want the police. Let me call my cousin again. Ah, he can do it for $250.”

“Forget it, call the police, I have insurance but I don’t have $250.”

This went on for hours, as my wife and I took a piece of furniture off the truck, locked the truck, carried the furniture up 4 flights, came back to the truck, unlocked it, dragged out another piece, locked the truck, etc. At one point during the moving/negotiation process, my helpful neighbor looked at the lock on the truck, laughed, and said “You are in the Big Apple now, my friend.”

Finally the truck was empty except for the MG. This astonished my helpful neighbor, who by now had agreed to accept $20 for damages to the bumper, to be paid $10 now and $10 some other time.

Then came the unexpected challenge of driving an 18 foot truck all over Manhattan trying to find a way to unload the damn car. Almost every place I tried, I was told how much money I could make if I had the truck for a week, although no one specified exactly how. I finally found some guys at a loading dock who let me do it for $20.

It was a long, hard, frustrating and funny 2-day introduction to life in New York.

BTW, the second $10 was never mentioned again.




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