If you think for one minute that as a bicyclist you can ride willy-nilly in Prospect Park, you best be prepared to spend the better part of a morning in an incredibly hard-to-reach courtroom in Red Hook and, truth be told, learn an incredible lesson in civic justice. Let me explain...
Around 10PM one evening in March, the Q needed to get home from the Park Slope Food Coop where he had just purchased sundry items, just enough to fit snugly in the child carrier. To get from point A (Grand Army Plaza) to point B (Parkside at Ocean) he could either travel clockwise on the park drive or counter-clockwise. Clockwise is a little over half as far, and since the drive is closed to traffic and precious few anybodies are out and about at that hour, the Q took the route that made the most sense to him. He rode the WRONG way, clockwise, as he has done countless times before, often noting to himself that he should be careful not to piss off any of the budding Olympians who "train" on the loop and don't like it when other humans or animals get in their way. I usually ride slowly and with care so as not to surprise anyone going "the right way," counter-clockwise, but if a silly-clad speedster does bark at me I usually shout back something crass like "stick it back in your pants, Lance." One time, it nearly came to blows, but I stood my ground, even if I had been walking too slowly across the road. My bad.
On this particular evening, I was surprised to see police lining the roadway near the Boathouse. I confidently rode up to an officer to see what was the matter, and was surprised to be roughly manhandled, thrown in cuffs and shoved up against the police car. Okay, I exaggerate. I was politely asked for my license and written a summons and told to follow the rules. (Had I been African-American, I suspect the previous sentence might not have come as such a shock to you, amiright?) I was also told to show up in court if I wanted the summons reduced to a warning and dismissed. This was indeed the outcome that I was hoping for, so made a note to show up in May for my date with destiny. The venue for said date, looked like this:
And now you know. I see people do it all the time, and I want to tell them this story. Don't ride the wrong way unless you want to find out how sad a 50-year-old man looks when he's been publicly humiliated by a judge for peeing. Actually, that was my favorite part. I'll bet he thinks twice next time, too.
The Q at Parkside
News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.