why not to park illegaly – a narrative in two parts


so there i was this morning, minding my own business and basically engaging in the sort of navel gazing for which saturday mornings are really, really good for (i.e checking what my friends are listing to on last.fm, logging some stuff on 43things) and drinking a wonderful cup of ethiopia harrar coffee from perk ion glenwood park when i head my gmail notifier go off.

‘oooh’ i thought, ‘someone has just replied to my post about the live pete yorn show at criminal records. better check that out.’ it was instead my friend james who had apparently run afoul of some midtown homeowner by parking over the line of their driveway and had been towed by the apd. he needed my assistance to go spring his vehicle. the resulting two-part journey served as a tremendous deterrent for me ever parking illegally.


(yes that is the hero of our story above)

first we had to go to city hall east. you know the building. that big tall imposing brick thing that straddles ponce and north avenue across the street from the home depot. but not in the front. nope, you have to go to the police property room, buried in the subbasement. this room is something else. for all of the modernization of city services this looks like something out of the scene when elwood is being released from prison in the blues brothers. i just knew i had to snap some pictures for you, so out came the camera phone (which made a pretty loud shutter sound, causing the denizens of this realm to look pretty askew at me; which rest assured caused be turn off that sound.)


while in the apd property room, we learned that if you get ‘locked up on the east side of town,’ that was the office you went to, but if you get ‘locked up on th’ other side a’ town you gotta go somewhere else.’ enlightening to say the least. by now i was ready to cash in on this experiment to a part of atlanta i had no desire to see, but first i had to learn that while you can spring a car on the weekend you can only get your money and weapons on a weekday and not at all if you are a felon.

so with that out of the way, i figured lets get the car and go have some burgers. naive little me. see the car isn’t actually there. you have to go there to get the release to get the car. it is somewhere entirely different.

after a quick stop for lunch at the vortex in midtown (which, btw, is nowhere near as cool as the vortex in little 5, but that’s a subject for another post) it was off to the second part of our little adventure – a tow.


a tow is the place where they actually take your car and it is not an exaggeration when i say that while not the worst neighborhood in atlanta, it certainly isn’t being feature in the new york times as a symbol of urban revitalization either. and lets just say that the folks at a tow – whose office looks like a converted double-wide, have absolutely no desire to make your day go faster. it’s funny how little incentive people have to please the customer when they know the customer is completely there against there will, and they also happen to have you car. finally after another fifteen minutes of paper filing and conversing between the ladies there, we had the car and were on our way back to east atlanta.

so my friends, next time you think that the parking space is close enough, or you are ‘probably’ past the sign, i would remember our little story and drive around the block and find another one. shirley franklin may have made a lot about our city more user- friendly, getting back an impounded car is not one of them.

1 Comment so far

  1. Jam (unregistered) on July 15th, 2006 @ 6:30 pm

    A very funny take on our adventures today. The pictures, as well as the dialouge we heard, are priceless. Thanks for helping me out.

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