I'm now three weeks into my new life in the tri-state area. So far so good! My apartment is all set up, pictures are hung up on the wall and I even have the recycling schedule committed to memory...even though I haven't been recycling. Bad Lisa Bad!!!
The only downside to Hoboken is the parking. Parking blows the big one. And not yet having a resident sticker makes it even more difficult.
See, when I lived in South Boston (Southie for you locals) you could park in a cross-walk and the most you'd get is a $10 ticket. Totally worth it! But here in Hoboken forget it! From the end of the sidewalk to about two car lengths in is a yellow line. And if you park anywhere near that yellow line your ass is booted, towed and ticketed. It's so unreal!
I was at dinner with one of my co-workers who lives in the neighborhood and I was telling her how stressed out I was about parking. She explained to me how she used to be very nervous about parking as well but after a while she would park her car in the yellow line and she noticed that as long as she left for work early she never got a ticket.
So, last Thursday I'm driving around and driving around and ready to rip my blond hair out because there is not a single spot to park! It was one of those times where everyone in front of me was finding a parking spot except me. I was on the verge of tears when I saw half of a parking spot, the other half was in the yellow line.
I had a dentist appointment the next morning at 8am. I figured I'd be done by 8:30 and would be able to just scurry out of the illegal spot unscathed.
Fast forward the next morning.
The Scene: Hoboken, NJ. Cold, cloudy and raining like a mofo.
Lisa in the dentist chair, looking dreamily at her new dentist as he pokes and prods in her mouth.
The outfit: Lisa wearing a dress with footless leggins and rubber flip flops with no traction (this information comes in handy at the end of the story)
Now guys. Let's talk about my new dentist. He was hot. Like hotter than hot. Like he was hot like the fire that consumes other fire. He could've put his entire fist in my mouth to check for cavities and I would've been OK with it.
The only thing is that he talked. A. LOT. And he was so dreamy that when I finally exited the dentist office I didn't realize how late it was. I glanced down at my Fauxlex and saw that it was 9:30.
With the rain coming from every which way and my flip flops offering no support I made a mad dash for Clinton and 12th street.
"It's gonna be there! It's gonna be there! It's gonna be there," I chanted to myself as I passed the Fresh Picked Deli.
"Lisa. Who are you kidding. You parked illegally and you have Mass plates. Your car is so towed," said my other self.
I came to the corner where I distinctly remember parking the night before and there was no Suzi.
I dialed the Hoboken Police station and said that this was not an emergency but I think my car got towed.
"What kinda car is it sweetie?"
"Jetta. White. Mass plates."
"Yeah we got it. You need to go to the Tow place on Jefferson and 16th."
I did not have the number for a cab, I was wearing flip flops and it was down pouring. Naturally I walked to Jefferson and 16th which was about a 10 minute walk away. Thank God I had my white umbrella with multi-colored polka dots so shield me from the horrific weather.
I finally arrived.
"Can I help you?"
"Hi. That's my car," I pointed to Suzi.
"Ok. Do you have your release form?"
"My who and what now?"
"Your release form."
"I'm from Boston.....?"
"Ok. Go to that window and talk to Ronnie."
Ronnie was a tall and slender man who looked kind of like Clint Eastwood, but less squinty.
"Hi. I need to get my car."
"Do you have your release form?"
"Ok. You need to take your registration, insurance card, and license and go to the Police Station so they can release your car."
"Ooooohkaaaay. Do you have a number for a cab since I can't actually drive to the police station?"
"Here. Come with me."
I followed Ronnie back to the front where all of the cars were chilling. There scrawled on the wall was a 201 phone number for a Hoboken car service.
"Wait, Ronnie. You said I need an insurance card?"
"Ok well I moved here two weeks ago from Boston and they don't give out insurance cards in Massachusetts."
Ronnie stroked his 5 o'clock shadow. "Hmmm...well you need that in New Jersey to get your car back...hmmm..."
I looked at him with the doe-iest of eyes I could muster.
"Ok. When you get to the police station ask for Officer Bobby Castellano. I'll give him a call to let him know you're on your way."
Ten minutes later the car service dropped me off at the station. Now, let me tell you something readers. Those Hoboken cops are HOT. Like I walked in and thought I was at a model casting. This one guy walked by me with those tight cop pants tucked into the high boots and he was bald and had a huge tattoo with the name ALVEREZ on his bicep. I was like "CUFF ME NOW!"
I must've been standing in the middle of the hallway for a while checking out the fine cop ass that was surrounding me because finally an officer asked me if I needed help.
"Oh. Yes I'm uh looking for Officer Castellano...?"
"Sure. He's right in there."
I walked into a room that was marked "Autos" and stood in line behind a guy who was getting finger printed. Jesus! Do they finger print you here too if your car gets towed? They are no joke!
The man identified as Officer Castellano walked over to me and asked if I needed help.
"Hi. I was sent over by Ronnie...?"
Bobby gave me a nod and asked in a loud voice if I had my registration and insurance card.
"I uh moved here from Boston two weeks ago. They don't do insurance cards in Mass."
He gave a curt nod and walked over to a clerk who filled out my paperwork in 2 minutes. The nice lady then walked over to me, told me to be mindful of the signs and handed me my release form for my car.
I then called a cab to take me BACK to the tow place so I could get my car. Upon entering the tow place a guy who looked liked he belonged on Deadliest Catch greeted me with a nod and a wink.
"Can I help ya?"
"Yes. Hi. I'm here to get my car back."
"Got ya release form?"
"Ok. Follow me."
I followed Deadliest Catch guy to the little window.
"How much is this going to cost me?"
"And you guys take cards?"
Well this was an improvement at least from when I'd get my car towed in Boston. There it was $110 and CASH ONLY.
I paid the guy, got my receipt and said, "I hope to never see you again."
He gave a hearty laugh and said, "Well at least not here." Then he winked at me.
WELCOME TO HOBOKEN!