And, really, this is literally the ONLY positive thing about getting your car towed. There is nothing else good about it. I have only had my car towed once, and it was a long time ago, when I was 19 and parked in a school zone in the East Village, vowing to wake up in time to move it by 7am, like the sign said. But, of course, I was 19. And I spent the night doing other, very important, questionably legal things. So when I stumbled outside at the respectable time of noon, my car was gone. And I had to trek over to the towing compound on the West Side Highway.
I learned two things that day. One, picking up your car from the West Side Highway is like descending into hell. I was Eurydice sure enough, but where was my Orpheus? Who would lead me out? Sadly, no one. I got out on my own, behind the wheel of a 1991 Mercedes station wagon complete with car phone. And two, in the words of my dad, you don't fuck with the NYC Board of Ed when it comes to parking spaces.
So! My whole experience might have been wildly different if my car had been towed to the NYPD Tow Operations building in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Inhabitat.com has a feature on the Spacesmith-designed building, which was not only built in accordance with green building laws but also has "technologies incorporated in the design were simple and modestly priced (expensive detailing was avoided because of the project’s tax-payer funded status)."
The building features "large windows and plenty of natural light [to] brighten up the waiting spaces and provide a more livable atmosphere for employees. The steel frame materials that make up the buildings structure have been chosen for their recyclability potential and a large percentage of the metal used in the building is drawn from recycled content itself. The building also boasts a PVC roofing membrane which reflects light and reduces heat gain and solar collectors heat the buildings hot water. In addition, the architecture contains energy efficient boilers, low flush plumbing fixtures, and highly insulated walls."
Not only does the sound a million times better than what I remember from my time at the Manhattan towing facility, but also it sounds way nicer than my apartment. Like, not even close!
Hopefully, you'll never get your car towed in Brooklyn and won't need to pay a visit there, but at least, if you do, you'll get to "wait in an environmentally friendly and modern, industrial facility!"
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen