2016-05-21 41 -73
Inside a synagogue in Greenwich, Connecticut
My plan was to take the Metro-North train which left Harlem at 10:46am, arriving at Greenwich station at 11:32am so that I would reach the synagogue (Temple Sholom) on foot at noon, just when the sabbath prayer service would be letting out. The idea was that with everyone chaotically milling about, I would be able to reach the point inside the synagogue unnoticed and get my first Holy Hash.
Things began to go wrong rather quickly when I left the house quite late, still not having eaten breakfast (I was out unexpectedly late and drank a lot the previous night.) I thought I still had a good margin to pick up some breakfast at a deli and catch the train, but then found out that buses to the station were extremely delayed and would not get me there in time. So I ended up having to walk all the way to the station, 25 minutes, with no margin for error or food.
I (barely) made the train, but was really hungry, having only brought a banana... so when I got off at Greenwich, I felt strongly compelled to pick up some hot food. The pizza slice was very tasty, but 10 minutes were now wasted, and I didn't reach the synagogue until something like 12:10pm. The walk there was kind of boring and suburban at first, but became really cool once I turned onto U.S. Route 1 and started passing huge mansions (Greenwich is reputed to be extremely wealthy) and ancient churches (well at least by US standards.)
There were cars in the synagogue parking lot... so at least it wasn't closed yet... but when I went inside, I found that the prayer service was long finished, and there were just some people eating lunch together in a side room. The main lobby, far from being packed, was unoccupied. I went towards what I thought was the direction of the hash, through some doors.
As providence? would have it, this turned out to lead directly into the sanctuary/auditorium, where the worship had just taken place. This was very beautiful with colorful art all around, but the approach had an unexpected turn or twist, so I couldn't immediately figure out which way I was facing! So I was rather unsure where the hash was. I was just about to take a picture anyway, when the hired security guy came in and said I couldn't be in here without the cantor's permission.
I told him I was looking for a certain place, but that I wasn't sure if it was even in here, so not to worry about it. We left the sanctuary (pictureless) and I then headed outside to see if I could get the GPS within error radius outdoors. Unfortunately I could not - the closest it read at the wall was 19 feet and it often read as high as 70 feet or so. I think I was therefore within ~45 feet.
I came back in and tried to reason with the security employee again, but he insisted I ask the cantor. The cantor, a guy my age, was extremely suspicious and didn't believe my (true) story... so that was that. I might conceivably have been on the hashpoint during my unauthorized walk into the auditorium, but it's impossible to tell, and I don't even have a picture that I might have used to deduce it. So I will have to call this coordinates not reached.
Had I arrived on time 10 minutes earlier, the hash may have been easier... but it still may not have worked, since it seemed like the service had been over for a long time already.
To add insult to injury, when I tried to buy a proper lunch back near the station, the soup turned out to be too bland and there was no time to eat it anyway before the train. So I finally ate lunch at the cafe in midtown where I was meeting some other friends, some hours later...
| OtherJack earned the 2016 Geohashing Day achievement
| OtherJack earned the No trespassing consolation prize