When I went to move my car last week from in front of the Taj Mahal, it was not there—the Taj Mahal, I mean. The car was fine, and made it up over the hump of snow and out to Rockaway, where I left it on the Street of No Parking Restrictions. But the Taj Mahal hologram in the window of the gallery I had parked in front of had dematerialized, and I am not sure if that is just in the nature of holograms or if the gallery has closed.
Not that I will be in any condition to follow up on it soon. Yes, dear readers, the Alternate Side Parker has been sidelined with a pedestrian injury. I had surgery last week on my accelerator foot, and am currently using a Roll-a-Bout to navigate the three rooms of my apartment.
The Roll-a-Bout is an evolutionary leap over crutches, and I applaud it heartily and rely on it heavily, except when crutches are necessary to play on the heartstrings of plumbers. (My recovery coincided with a plumbing crisis: something behind the wall or under my bathroom floor was leaking onto the newly renovated bathroom in the apartment below. Thanks to my pathetic invalid condition, the plumbers were able to find and fix the leak with a minimum of damage or inconvenience.)
I was hoping that yesterday’s mail would contain a valentine from the New York Department of Finance’s Adjudication Division. Earlier this month, I received the decision on my appeal in the matter of the curb cut. The form for this is evenhanded to a fault. It is headed “In the Matter of the Appeal of,” under which find my name and address, license plate number, and summons number(s). Then there is a choice of verdicts: “Upon review of the entire record before us, we find no error of fact or law. The Judge’s decision is upheld” and “Upon review of the entire record before us, we find error. The decision is reversed and the prior payment will be returned.” Below that, it says, in parentheses, “A mark has been placed next to the applicable decision.”
The letter was artfully folded so that the faintly crossed-out verdict fell on the fold, and it took a while to decipher the fact that the judges unanimously (O.K., so there were only two of them) found my appeal persuasive: “we find error.” Yes! It is signed (indecipherably) by two Administrative Law Judges, above a section headed “Codes,” in which the letters “O / M / O / N” are printed, just like that, between slashes, twice, in a space that would accommodate six codes. I don’t know how to decode it, but I figure it means “That first judge was an idiot.”
The point is that I won. But I don't expect to feel the full triumph of judicial victory until I receive that check for $195.