so the back of the ticket said the office could be visited by going to the 10th floor of a building down on john street. this is a great street in the heart of downtown. this part of town is leftover from the original layout of the city which wasn't planned very well. streets are narrow and intersect curiously and with the height of the buildings it can feel almost claustrophobic. i made my way to the elevators and waited to board the magic lift that would take me to the shake-down location.
when i got there, i waited in line for a few minutes before speaking to a kind lady who told me that if i was paying cash i would need to do that on the 2nd floor, window 27. i figured i would take the stairs down both for the exercise as well as relive the good ole days of coming down the manitou incline. i was quickly reminded where i was when i smacked my pocketed ipod on the metal railing.
a couple floors down in the stairwell, i saw the sign that makes any stairclimber take pause. "no reentry except for floor 9 and 6". I was already committed to my descent and picking up speed and found myself hoping that the second floor would somehow be unique, living in a different universe from the "no reentry" world. not only was there no reentry on the second floor...there was no door with which to even dream of reentering. had to completely leave the building and enter at the front door again. which i did and finally made my way to the 2nd floor and window 27.
another line. apparently there were many other lawbreakers paying various fines. i'm sure they will put the money to good use so i don't mind making a small contribution to the city of new york. maybe they'll put some of the fine toward the free-to-the-public ferry that runs out to governor's island every weekend.
i ended up at window 26 which is close enough for me. spoke to a very friendly woman with very red hair. i like red, but hers was clearly foreign to her natural follicles. it wasn't the beautiful natural red to strawberry to auburn color that flows out of some of the more regal heads in town.
i paid her the money, she printed a receipt, stapled it to the original ticket i had received and handed it back to me saying, "hold on to that receipt for eight years, three months." i couldn't believe it, so i said, "pardon me? did you say eight years and three months? it sounded like you said eight years and three months. is it in the computer that i paid?" even though the computer had it in there, the city might come back at some point in the next eight years (and three months) and accuse me of not paying. so just in case they come after my three cheeseburgers with bacon fine, i need to find a safe place to store my receipt for the next eight years and three months. that's a long time. in dog years that's like 44 years. maybe i should get a safety deposit box.