Daily Archives: April 9, 2012

R.I.P., Mike Wallace, one of the greats of journalism. I realize a dream tonight at MSG. And I spend time at the NYPD Tow Depot. (not voluntarily)

So, Friday was fun. My girlfriend and I came out of her apartment around 11 a.m. and started walking toward my car. Only when I arrived at the block I had parked the night before, there was a whole row of empty space, where 12 hours earlier a whole bunch of cars had been.

I had made a classic New York City parking blunder, one I should’ve known better than to make. I knew Friday was a holiday, and heard that alternate side of the street parking rules were suspended. I interpreted that to mean that, as long as I wasn’t blocking a driveway or a hydrant, other rules were suspended as well.
So I had parked near a sign that said “No Standing, 8 a.m. -7 p.m., Mon-Fri.” Surely that didn’t apply on Good Friday, I assumed the night before. My assumption led to a not-so-fun adventure of A, tracking down where the hell my car had been towed to, B, schlepping across Manhattan to get to the NYPD Tow Depot, C, waiting on line for 40 minutes to speak to someone about my car, afterwhich the nice lady told me to go sit and wait to be called, followed by D, an hour and a half wait on THAT line to get my car back.

Only to find a lovely $95 ticket on my windshield, coupled with the $185 it took to get the car back after the two.
A few observations on my Good Friday misdeed:
– Nothing galvanizes a group of strangers sitting in a room together like the shared anger at the police and the “idiot who towed my car,” as one of my new friends cheerfully put it. We were a totally diverse group of people, but we were united in our complaining to each other.
_ Not in a million years would I want to work as one of the cashiers who had to deal with us  on a daily basis. These nice folks had nothing to do with your car problems, yet they get yelled at anyway.
– My favorite moment of the day was when a college student in a U. of South Carolina hat was talking on his cell phone near me to what appeared to be his brother.
“Dude, you cannot tell Mom this, ever,” USC kid began.  “But I got her car towed in New York City. And I’m using the money Grandma gave me for my birthday to get it back.”

Lemme tell ya something, kid. Moms always find this stuff out. God helps them that way.

**So tonight I get to fulfill a lifelong dream. As you know if you’ve been reading the blog for the past week, I’ve got tickets to see Bruce Springsteen at MSG. Can. Not. Wait. In 36 years of life I’ve never been so excited for a concert. I am expecting nothing less than the musical experience of a lifetime. I cannot envision a way in which I’m disappointed.

This man, Springsteen, is 62 years old and still thrilling audiences across the world. I’ll talk more about this, I’m sure, after seeing him tonight, but how he can continue to do what he does, with such energy and passion, is amazing.

God bless the Boss. Finally, I’ll get to see what people have been telling me for decades: That there is no better live performer in music.

**Finally today, a remembrance of Mike Wallace, the legendary TV journalist who died over the weekend at age 93. Known for his fiery, tough interviews, Wallace had the uncanny knack for getting famous and infamous people to allow themselves to be grilled by him, and then having them reveal something they hadn’t planned to. He also was a master at investigating fraud and abuse by businesses and corporate leaders, doing so much public good in the process.

Wallace inspired me as a future journalist, as I watched “60 Minutes” as a kid and learned how great interviewing is done. Up until the last few years, Wallace still worked full-time, and he leaves behind a wonderful legacy of a career well-spent.