The Parking Ticket Saga Continues

“Let me have a look into this and get back to you later today,” he said.

Really–you thought he would?

Forty four days ago, if you’re counting, I went to City Hall to protest a parking ticket and tow Stef received. The area was improperly marked. Here’s the full story. I thought it was unfair to hide the sign in the bushes and then play gotcha for $127.

Two days ago I sent an email to the Director of the department that covers this asking for an update. “Let me have a look into this and get back to you later today,” he said.

Really–you thought he would?

I sent another email this afternoon. He asked if I could call and I immediately replied saying it would be five minutes. Five minutes later when I called he was gone.

Really–you thought he would be there?

I called and spoke to someone else in the department. Probably not a good idea. I reminded her that we only get 15 days to respond. She was not happy. She had discussed my ‘case’ but had not seen my “Request for Review Parking Violation/Towing.” I read her the state regs. I am not yet convinced that matters. She said she’d speak to the engineer, who I assume was the person who said the signs would be fine where they are in the first place.

I am told there will be a written response soon, right after their decision. I am torn between wanting this decided in my favor now or going for a real judicial appeal so I can play amateur lawyer. Whatever.

I will pursue this as a matter of principle… and because this afternoon they ticked me off. Please, don’t tick me off.

Off To New York

This is my parents last full day in Connecticut. Tomorrow, at an ungodly hour, they fly the day’s only non-stop from BDL to PBI.

The goal of the Connecticut Foxes was to make this a vacation full of activity, and we’ve succeeded. Maybe we were a little too aggressive in planning for my dad. We have taken him to the edge of his physical limits… though that wasn’t our intention.

Today was our day to head to New York and the Lower East Side. Stef, Helaine and my Mom love shopping there, but after this week, we knew it would be too much for my dad.

The solution was mine. The five of us would travel to New York together, but when the women headed to Canal Street, my dad and I would continue to Whitehall Terminal and the State Island Ferry.

When I was a kid a trip on the Staten Island Ferry cost 5&#162. Later, it was raised to 25&#162. About ten years ago, to lower the cost of commuting from Staten Island, the fare was removed altogether.

It’s a phenomenal free trip from The Battery, at Manhattan’s southern tip, to St. George on Staten Island. You go through the Upper Harbor, past Governors Island, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island.

It’s easy to forget, as I had, how busy a harbor this is. There are ocean going freighters moving past barges and tugs and other local working boats. We actually cruised by LSV-!, the Army’s General Frank S. Besson, Jr.

I thought the Army only had ships in Jack Lemmon movies!

Our ferry to Staten Island and back was the John F. Kennedy, christened in 1965. It, like all the ferries, is a stubby, dirty orange behemoth. There is no front. The ferry is commanded from both ends.

We took the outbound leg, standing outside on the upper deck on the port side. That’s the best view of the Statue of Liberty.

On the return we stood at the very front of the Kennedy, with an ever sharpening view of Lower Manhattan, the ‘satellite city’ of office towers that’s grown up in the Hoboken/Jersey City area and the smaller, older, office buildings in Downtown Brooklyn.

This trip, like nearly every other trip to New York was heavily dependent on the New York City subway system. I know some people are a little apprehensive, but it’s a great way to get around. It’s certainly faster than driving. Service is frequent… every few minutes on some lines.

The downside is, the cars are sometimes dirty and there are often people soliciting for (often dubious) charities. We had one guy beg while holding up sandwiches, ostensibly for any homeless on the train. We also had an accordionist join us – hand outstretched. His charity begins in the home.

There was one other downside today. When we headed from Whitehall Street, at the ferry slip, to Cortlandt Street, we discovered the Cortlandt Street Station is closed due to the reconstruction around the World Trade Center site. That aded a walk I didn’t plan on from City Hall down to Cortlandt.

We met up with the girls at Century 21, an &#252ber clothing department store, about a block from Ground Zero. My dad and I sat in the shoe department while (mostly) Stef did her damage upstairs!

The final stop of the day was dinner at the Stage Deli. It was very good, but my first choice was to head to Chinatown for Chinese food. I can’t name one Chinese restaurant down there, but I’m sure whatever we would have found would have been great.

By the way – on a trip like this, majority rules. It’s no sin to be outvoted.

The Stage is in the mid-50s on 7th Avenue while Grand Central Terminal is at 42nd and Park Avenue. That wasn’t too much of a hike for Helaine, Stef and me, but it was too a lot for my parents. We threw them in a cab and met them at the train station.

We were home by 8:30 PM.

My parents need to go home to recuperate from their vacation!

Blogger’s note: I took well over 300 photos today. I was saddened to see a few pieces of dust had settled on “Clicky’s” sensor. That was easily cured with a bulb duster I carry… but not until I had shot at least 250 photos that need an extra hand to be acceptable.

New York Stinks

Sometime this morning, the smell of natural gas… or more accurately, the smell of the chemical they add to natural gas, began being noticed over Manhattan and parts of New Jersey.

Mayor Bloomberg said there was no cause for alarm, everything’s safe, though he had no idea where the smell was coming from and what it was. Or, to quote the mayor, “We are waiting for the gas to pass.”

Seriously, how could he have said that? Did the guy who wrote the, “Eat Here/Get Gas” billboard, transfer to City Hall?

There are chemical sensors squirreled all over New York. That’s probably where the mayor’s confidence comes from. However, eliminating known agents doesn’t directly translate to guaranteed safe breathing. And, sadly, the assurances following 9/11 were totally off the mark, with toxic debris floating around Lower Manhattan.

In the past I’ve considered jobs in New York City. Since 9/11, every time I’ve thought about working there, I’ve thought about the threat level.

My job search process never went far enough to know for sure, but I decided I could deal with my uneasiness. I suppose that’s easier to say in the abstract.

In the end, this smell will go down with all the unaccompanied packages and lost airline passengers that have collectively cost us millions of dollars (or more), slowed us down, and changed our lives over the past five years.

Remind Me Not to Go To Moscow

The mayor of Moscow, Russia has decided there should be a penalty for bad weather forecasts. What is he trying to do… become personally responsible for my plunge into the abyss of forecaster’s hell? I’m tense enough already about today’s potential storm.

Continue reading “Remind Me Not to Go To Moscow”