On the whole, Staten Island is a good place to break down (carwise, that is). A few weeks ago, as I was heading out to work, the tire pressure alert lit up on my dash. It's happened before, usually means the pressure in one tire is down a bit. So I pulled into this Shell station on Forest Avenue, pumped four quarters into the air machine, and went to work. I knew it was a bad sign when air started coming out of a seam in the tire as fast as it went in. A few minutes later, it was up on the lift, and Jeff was showing me just how bald and bad both front tires were--despite a recent check-up at the Honda dealership. ("They do nothing," said Jeff, "except take your money.") A couple hours later, and I had a pair of all-weather Coopers on the front brought in from Jersey. Just in time for the snow storm.
If you find yourself waiting on your car at Jeff's, cross the street to Bella Famiglia for their fresh mozzarella. I was once served a still-warm sample on the edge of a knife. "You gotta grab it in one," the chef said.