Dante ain't got nothing on the Tow Pound.
Now when I say "Tow Pound," what images come to mind: Professional wrestler? Bruised phalanges? How about the deepest inferno-pits of Heck? The latter is closer to the truth.
I was in the city yesterday (Naturally, by "the city" I mean New York City. NYC has grown on me exponentially in these past few weeks. Prioir to my triumphant MacArthuresque return to the States, I had only been to NYC about a dozen times. In these three weeks, I have been there about four or five times. Nearly every weekend. Only now am I beginning to understand the allure and the near mythic status that this city holds with many people. It truly is unique. In my humble travelling experience, there is no other city like it. My conclusion is that there is no "center" to NYC. In most cities, people gravitate towards one particular area, like the "old town" for many European cities. NYC does not have that. Every area has its own charm and appeal. A theater person? Times Square. Fashion? SoHo. Food? Little Italy (and everywhere in between). Anyway... what the hell was I writing about before? Let me end this tangent) visiting Jerome in SoHo. I park my car, try to look as fashionable as possible (pretty tough on a tour guide budget, but I think I do alright) and strut my stuff to Jerome's place. We chill, eat, drink, for about an hour and then decide to head out. Let's go back to my beloved automobile which I cherish oh so dearly!
It's sleek and sexy curves.
It's blacker than night paint.
It's slightly vomit perfumed interior (another story for another time).
It's unneccesarily large spoiler.
It's.... it's.... it's not there.
Where the hell is my car? Dude, where the F*CK is my car? It was right here! Right here. Maybe it wasn't. Maybe I parked it down the road. No. Another street. Nope. Alternate dimension. Not likely. Dammit. It got towed.
After a perilous trek through the meanest of the mean streets of NYC, Jerome and I (Jerome acting as the fearless navigator huntsman, quick on the heels of his quarry... I, acting as the wormy spineless sidekick who keeps urging my master, "Mister! Mister! We go back! Dis place haunted.") finally arrived on the West Side (literally) by the piers. We entered into.... The Tow Pound.
Imagine this: A single room painted half blue, half white filled with uncomfortable chairs circa 1982, security cameras everywhere, no clocks, a single broken vending machine, and throngs of pissed off New Yorkers (black, white, latino, asian, rich, poor: a true NY crowd) looking to get their beloved vehicles back. The tellers are behind glass. It didn't strike me as odd at the time, but upon reflection that fact rather intrigues me. If they need to be behind projectile-repellant glass, that means that there was probably a reason to put the glass there in the first place. Who would actually look to harm another precious human life because of their own carelessness?
I would... unless you give me my friggin' car back.
After an eternity of nearly an hour, and piles of a few pages of paperwork, surrounded by the most bloodthirsty friendly people on the planet, I finally was able to retrieve my car. Utterly frustrated, I spent the rest of the night visiting friends and bar hopping across that beloved island. The End.