So in case anyone missed it, we moved to Jersey City just under a month ago. Following the move, I went back to the old apartment in West New York six miles north of the new place and cleaned for about four hours, with the hope that we would get our full security deposit back.
That happened, easily enough. We re-owned $1,282, the amount of money put down for the West New York apartment. I wasn’t really sure of what we were going to do with the money, but that opportunity presented itself when I ran into my old friend Rich Cunningham.
Now I’ve known Rich since I was, oh, about 16 or 17. And he was looking to get rid of a car, his 2000 Ford Focus. For almost four years now, I’ve driven a 1992 Volvo 740. The car treated me pretty well, but it’s also consistently cost a lot of money. Take any auto part you can think of and add the name ‘Volvo’ to the front of it, and for some reason, the price goes way up. I think it has something to do with the words ‘Swedish’ and ‘luxury,’ but no one’s ever told me. That said, Volvo head lamps, windshields, catalytic converters and electrical systems slowly but surely made me irritated with the Volvo. And then West New York happened, and the car went downhill fast. First, the door to get into the fuel tank fell off, and then both the front and rear head lamps were smashed in by haphazard parallel parking. And finally, not far from home, the car was t-boned by some idiot in a brand new BMW. It was still driveable, but would never pass inspection again unless I dumped $1,500 into repairs following the t-bone incident. So I knew the Volvo’s days were sadly numbered. I was actually looking forward to the day when I wouldn’t have to worry about alternate side parking, and could instead walk down the street and jump in a Zipcar on days when I needed to drive somewhere.
But then, after running into Rich and his Focus, I hate to say it, but sensibility got the best of me. There’s actually room to park on our street, and in the case of an emergency, having a car isn’t such a bad thing. So we bought the Focus.
This morning, I went to the DMV to register the car. After about an hour, I was out of there with title, registration and plates. Then we had to go pick up the car in Central Jersey. 35 miles later, I bolted the new plates on, put the paperwork in the car and drove it back home.
But the day doesn’t end there. I now had to get a parking permit. And to do so, I needed a driver’s license with my current street address on it. So back to the DMV I went. Round two, 6 points of identification verification and $24 later, I had a new driver’s license with my current address on it, which now matched my new title and registration.
By now, it was nearing 4:10 PM. Walk back home again, download the Jersey City Parking Authority Permit application, fill it out and call the parking authority. They said they were closing at 4:30, so I pedaled my ass off down the street with my new license, registration and application, only to find that they’re actually open till 8 PM. $15 later, I had a parking sticker for the new car that lasts for an entire year.
Pedal home again, put the sticker in the back window so it’s street legal, and finally, move the car to the other side of the street so that we can sleep in tomorrow without having to move the car on account of alternate side parking rules.
I like living here, but man oh man, government bureaucracy sure has a way of making me wanna kill myself. I could never do that to my family though. There’s just way too much paperwork involved.