A Quick Trip Back in Time, Just Ten Minutes Down the Road

As I scrolled through my Instagram feed earlier last week, a voice in my head wanted to take a little break from social media and perhaps do something a tad more entertaining and a lot less subject to millennialism. I grabbed my laptop and began searching for things to do around Marist. The usual: Rhinebeck, The Culinary Institute, the Poughkeepsie Galleria and a bunch of restaurants I’ve already eaten at came up. Just as I had expected, I wasn’t very impressed with the options. I decided to do a little more digging, found a few more restaurants and then decided to give up all together on the search. Don’t get me wrong, food is great, but I was looking for something a little more engrossing; something I could actually go and do.

I complained to my friend about my complete boredom and begged for ideas of what we could do. She began to list things and somewhere embedded in the conversation were the words “drive-in movie.” I stopped her right there. Being an avid movie lover and loyal Netflix binge-watcher, this was exactly my kind of forte. So that night, we hopped in the car and trekked over to the Hyde Park Drive In and enjoyed a 7:50 p.m. showing of Crazy Rich Asians.

I had never been to a drive in before, but the experience did not disappoint; it was exactly what I always thought it would be like. Basically, what happens is this: you pull up to a little ticket booth-type stand and pay for admission. Then, you go and find a parking spot in this fairly large grass field. You turn your radio station to 88.3 or something along those lines, hear the announcer man advertising for a million different places around Hyde Park that sponsor the place and then eventually, when 8 p.m. hits, the movie begins. There was also this ancient penguin cartoon preview playing for five minutes prior to the movie and I have to say, that really set the mood for the whole “vintage, old-time” theme that drive-in movies are known for. It was a playful vortex back into time; exactly what I needed.

Image from Hyde Park Drive-In Facebook page

Image from Hyde Park Drive-In Facebook page

One of the things my friends and I failed to realize was that we had to turn off our headlights while we were parked. Of course, the one time we decide to do something out of the ordinary, we fail miserably. My friend, Amanda’s, car decided to grow a mind of its own and shut off every half hour or so. Note that this was occurring while the movie was playing, so during a quiet scene where something dramatic was happening, her car’s headlights sprung on and flashed the entire field of cars. After being royally embarrassed and receiving countless bitter stares, we decided to shut the car off completely and just use the radio, leaving us with open windows, zero air conditioning and a masquerade of mosquitos. By the end of the night, I must have had about six bites on both sides of my legs.

I’m making this sound completely horrible, I know, but honestly, the experience was great. How often do we get to tune out our technologies and just enjoy something so small and simple? How often do we experience something so rugged and so passé, even though it has not been that long ago that people actually used these things? To me, there was something about doing something so unplugged that left me feeling this weird sense of accomplishment, like I had made one of my long gone great grandparents proud.

My point is, there are in fact things to do outside of our “Marist bubble.” Some better than others, but all equally rewarding if you experience them with the right people and enter them with an attitude of spontaneity and boldness.

I guess it comes down to the idea that, even in our twenty-first century technology-driven world, we occasionally find ourselves bored of all the hustle and bustle, the social comparison, pressure and the unwavering screen lights. Sometimes a stripped-back happening once in a while is all we need to stay sane. Or maybe that’s just me.

Kristen ContiComment