Friday, February 19, 2010

Cop Encounters Part II

As promised, here's the second big Long Island cop incident I encountered during my youth.

Although I grew up in Western Nassau County, I met an abundance of kids from Western Suffolk County while attending community college. Basically that means the majority of my friends lived at least thirty minutes away. No big deal. I really liked it out there. I figured maybe I'd even move out that way some day. We all know that didn't happen. I left Western Nassau in 2000 and moved to Manhattan until 2003 and have been stuck in New Jersey since. I blame my husband for that one!

As noted in my last entry, we were broke. No newsflash there, the average college kid is broke. Most likely that's why credit card companies bombard students on their very first day giving them $500 worth of free money in credit. All you need is a Social Security number and a pulse. In fact, those credit card offers are the reason I'm in debt today, just for the damn college branded water bottle and t-shirt premium. Sure they start out with $500 then in a year you're platinum and VIP and have a $30,000 limit and still in school.

When not hittin' a club, rave or concert, we would find places in the woods to hang out, smoke, drink, listen to tunes and basically just exchange ideas, thoughts and dreams - ya know, shoot the shit. One of our hot spots was this incredibly steep hill in Farmingdale. It was very close to the SUNY Farmingdale campus. None of us attended the college, several of my friends lived in the town. I swear this hill was insane for Long Island which is relatively flat compared to parts of Jersey. My silly husband would probably consider this thing the K-12 and bust out his 1990 skis during a snowstorm if he saw this thing.

There was flat land atop the immense hill and for some reason the local kids called it "The City of Glass" -- to this day I'm not sure why. I attempted to research it and it could have been an old nursery at one point. I think someone said there was a lot of sand at the top and sand makes glass. Not important. Somehow the guys pushed a keg up there. They brought lighter fluid and we brought snacks and blankets to sit on. 

We kids loved hanging out outdoors at night. Woods, beaches, quiet abandoned spots where we'd party into the wee hours of the night and just because I hated the taste of alcohol, my reward was driving everyone home safely. That part sucked because it tacked on a good hour to my ride home. Try explaining that to your angry dad who is loading his scuba equipment in his car at 6 am heading out for a Sunday dive meet asking, "What club is open until 5 am on Long Island? Where do you go at night?" Yup, good times.

About two hours into our City of Glass festivities that night, the party was brought to an impromptu halt thanks to the Farmingdale police. We could see the cop cars pull up at the bottom of the hill - a good 50 feet from us. In unison you heard everyone exclaim, "Ohhhhh shitttt 5-0!!" That was kid lingo for "the cops." At that point some of us scattered and ran or hid in woodsy patches.

There was no way those cops were going to climb that hill. Instead they climbed up a few feet and called up to us with their megaphones. We were to put out our fire immediately and roll the keg down. Now my memory is a bit hazy but I believe they confiscated the beer and the friend that purchased it cursed about losing his deposit from the deli who sold it to him. 

The best part about this night was the fun didn't end there. Too early for us to go home, we somehow ended up at our friend Regina's house. Her folks were away and she said we were welcome to crash at her house and what a house it was.

Regina and her parents lived in a town called Garden City. It was very upscale and filled with "old money" -- stately homes on lovely manicured lawns belonging to surgeons and lawyers. Her father was a big-time lawyer and she told me she was related to a famous Mozzarella cheese company that started out in the area. I believe it because I've never met another kid with her last name and about 85% of my classmates growing up were Italian, like me. Regina was very dramatic. She wanted to be an actress and there was something slightly magical about her. I was anxious and overwhelmed with curiosity at the thought of stepping foot into her grandiose historical-looking home.

We pulled in front of her manor and followed her toward the back door. She was slightly tipsy but the sight we were met with was surely a buzz kill. The glass door was broken and shards of glass were at our feet. In full drama queen mode, she bellowed "There's a burglar inside, we need to call the police! Someone broke into my house."

Our friend Kevin, who happened to also be from Garden City, knew the town well. He quickly jumped into his car and got his ass to a pay phone as fast as his Pumas would take him. Remember pay phones? Within a few minutes the entire Garden City police department had the home surrounded. There are cops on the roof, cops on the lawn, cops behind trees. Other than those riots you see on TV, I don't think I've ever seen so many cops in one place before than that night.  They told us to get back into our car until they were sure it was safe.

Poor, frail Regina was sobbing and we did our best to calm her down. A cop stood guard near our car so he could communicate with Regina and the cops inside her home. We heard over the walkie-talkie. "Yeah, ah, we found a man with a bloody hand. He is passed out on a bed in an upstairs bedroom. He claims he lives here and that the young ladies' older brother," says the cop. "Uh, duh? Hello, Regina? Are you serious?" is what I wanted to say to her as the cop inquired about the validity of their findings. I don't think I even knew she had a brother.

She gasped, my brother? He must have forgotten is keys.

There's more. It turns out her house is haunted. I'll tell you more about that tomorrow. 

Stay tuned.


Mom Mayhem says: said...

Wow -Interesting stories you have ans such great memory! Can't wait to hear more about the haunted house later :)

Lifebeginsat30ty said...

Mmm, I think I might have spazzed out a bit if there was broken glass outside my house too! Stupid brothers.

Your keg/cop story sounds very familiar. Ours happened to be on Senior skip day; on an island in the river. Yeah, our town was special. We got caught by the coast guard! lol

p.s. Have left something for you on my blog ;)

Ian said...

Damn and I thought my posts today and yesterday had enough cop stuff in it. Whoops...I think I might have given something away lol

California Keys said...

Wait.... Was her brother drunk? What happened!?!?! You can't end it there! lol

Ally said...

Actually, yes she really had a brother and yes he was drunk and in bed. Everything was OK on that end.

Sorry if I confused you by ending it there...

HeyItsA said...

I remember City of Glass. Not sure if I was at that gathering or not. We used to have sooooo much fun up there. Thanks Ally!

HeyItsA said...

The comment before this one, was from me Ally, Amanda Kester.

Joe said...

Ally I was there at COG that night. My recollection is slightly different from yours.

But to answer your questions first, the City of Glass was an early stage construction site for what would become an extension of a housing development just north off Melville Rd and below the wooded edge off the SUNY Farmingdale campus. I'm pretty sure it was our friends from Long Island Lutheran High School who introduced the place to the rest of us. They named it COG because when they initially found the place, it was just a clearance with several huge mounds of sand (which I always thought was a silly reason to give it that name, but it stuck).

We discovered the clearing in the woods at the top of the cliff just beyond the construction area and that quickly became our low-budget hangout of choice for a couple of years when it wasn't too cold. That sandy cliff was steep. I remember we used to slide down it on old broken skateboard decks.

The night the cops busted us was not the first time they appeared at the edge of the costruction site to harrass us. Usually they'd shine lights up at us from the end of the road and leave after we turned the music down. The night in question was the biggest party we'd had, and as far as I know the only time we ever dragged a keg up that hill. We must have been very loud, surely blaring techno and industrial music that probably echoed through the whole site.

The police showed up, yelled at us with their bullhorn and appeard to be leaving as usual. I imagine we might not have been very respectful in response. So we continued the party until some of us noticed the flashlights approaching from the trail in the woods that ran along the edge of the cliff. I remember not being sure what to think initially, since any night at COG usually included a few trips into the woods to hunt for firewood or to sneak off with someone for a little action (the former a lot more often than the latter for me, unfortunately).

Anyhow, as more of us began to notice the approaching flashlights, and then the number of them (5 or 6 or more I think) we began to pare off and then scatter into the woods in the other direction.

The fuzz had faked us out! They led us to believe they were leaving like usual, only to climb up the far edge of the cliff out of sight and surprise us up in the clearing!

It was poor Pat who got caught and was forced to stomp out the fire, which ruined his new red or purple Dr Martens that I remember he was so proud of. I hopped a chain link fence with Amanda (and I forget who else, but there were more of us) onto the SUNY campus grounds and found a spot to hide until they left. As I recall someone else lost out on his/her deposit for the keg. I don't remember where I went after we left COG that night, but I didn't go to Regina's house.

Those were great times.

Ally said...

Joe, that's awesome! Holy crap I forgot about Pat's cherry red Docs! Ha ha!

The Man-Cave said...

Oh I cannot wait to hear about the haunted house!

lol 5-0. I still say that to this day. That and "party lights" - code for cops lights ahead on the road; checkpoints, speed traps, etc.

Pandorah's Box said...

Did he PUNCH the glass door? Now that's badass.

Good story! Thankfully I was never busted by the cops or I would have been thrown in jail!

Copyboy said...

How do you not have 8 zillion screenplays written yet?

Ally said...

Thanks Copyboy! I wish! Kato - yes!!! I never saw the guy, he was passed out in bed like the cops said. Ha ha!

Betty Manousos said...

Maybe , you have not noticed, but there's an award waiting for you on my previous post!
Betty :)

RaplhCramden said...

The "City of Glass" was a gigantic greenhouse/nursery that sold plants and lots of other stuff. It was located just towards farmingdale from where the college is. It was torn down in the 1970s (?) but the site was so big a lot of the stuff built on the old site still carries the name, sort of. That's what your hill is named for. We bought our first dog, Lucky the dachshund, at the city of glass, in like 1966 or something.

RaplhCramden said...

The "City of Glass" was a gigantic greenhouse/nursery that sold plants and lots of other stuff. It was located just towards farmingdale from where the college is. It was torn down in the 1970s (?) but the site was so big a lot of the stuff built on the old site still carries the name, sort of. That's what your hill is named for. We bought our first dog, Lucky the dachshund, at the city of glass, in like 1966 or something.


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