Thursday, August 13, 2009

Getting Around

It was a pretty typical Wednesday AM at the Palace. Since we are blessed with 3 antique collectors/dealers/designers in the Palace, furniture, art and other expensive objects are constantly going in and out of the building. Such was the case on Wednesday; a library table was going down from 4th floor to its new owner's home. A moving van had been hired to take it on its journey.

The driver called me as I was walking down the stairs and told me he was on the way. "Best you park on the 38th St side", I told the him. For some reason a KCMO Police traffic unit was ensconced in the middle of Baltimore and she didn't appear to be moving anytime soon. I stopped to watch. She sat and sat in her little Ford Focus, just looking out the window, doing nothing, blocking traffic. A rumbling from down the street announced the arrival of a tow truck, waking Ms Meter Maid from her repose. She was back in action; they were going to tow my neighbor's car for some reason, maybe it was parked too close to the curb, or wasn't washed.... it takes no reason for these jokers to write a ticket.

The owner got wind of the event and came running out as the tow truck was hoisting his old Range Rover none too gently onto the bed. A long discussion ensued (turned out the owner is selling the truck and seems he took the plates off just the evening before) and finally the errant Range Rover was none too gently put sort of back in place and the truck and surly parking lady stormed off, no doubt pissed that they had failed in their mission to make Kansas City a safer place...more like make the city some $$$.

I chalked this up as further justification in my warped mind to not have a car in Midtown.

Later that afternoon a friend told me his car was towed a while back over not having the current insurance form, and then he also was gifted a red light camera ticket for not stopping and looking both ways. Basically nothing, but the city gets its money. The previous mayor let every new business get away without paying taxes for years, so they have to make it up on us citizens; at least that is my take on the issue.

Yes it can be an inconvenience to not have a set of wheels. But I am learning to get around. The bike goes to the garden; what great exercise.. and the feel of wheeling down the slope of 38th St brings back the memories of me biking all over Decatur, the city map in my room marked each street I and my trusty Schwinn had visited. I found I can get a bus to the hardware store and the Dollar Tree (my new best shopping friend) taking about the same time as driving. The frustrating thing is not being in control, being able to go whenever I want. I will also need to learn to make lists and be sure I have everything I need. Running out to get a forgotten item is not as easy as it once was.

But at least I don't give the authorities cause to hassle me. That is worth a lot.

1 comment:

Raymond said...

Glad to see you went GREEN and dumped the car and avoid all that hassle. I sure wish I lived close to things so I could NEVER drive again. Of course it is not the traffic in ole Fort Smith that is the problem it is just that I would rather stay home. Thanks for sharing your story and I am so glad your neighbor got to intercede and prevent an injustice from being perpetrated on him.