If you own a car in the District, you are probably quite familiar with that sinking feeling upon returning to your vehicle and seeing that little piece of paper tucked behind your windshield wiper, with its red underside just glaring and sticking its tongue out at you. Hey, at least they didn’t tow your car. And maybe you forgot about that last ticket or angrily shoved it in a drawer somewhere thinking to yourself that you were really “sticking it to the man.”
Well, all those tickets have to be paid eventually; and if you were issued a parking, moving violation or photo-enforcement ticket prior to January 1, 2010, you can pay it off without any late fees. You can pay online or over the phone at 866-893-5023. Additionally, you can pay in person at the DMV Adjudication Services located at 301 C Street, NW, open from 8:15 AM til 4 PM, Monday through Friday.
Pop-music mad scientist Damon Albarn is currently touring his ever-evolving collaborative group and multimedia extravaganza, Gorillaz, across the United States. After Gorillaz climbed around New York City like King Kong at the end of last week, they took their road-show down the Turnpike to play an incredible show in Camden, New Jersey on Sunday night, and then down I-95 to perform at George Mason University’s Patriot Center on Monday. Having previewed the 2010 Gorillaz live show at this year’s Coachella Music Festival, I was determined to catch at least one of their national tour dates. As it turns out I was fortunate enough to catch two of them.
Everyone that I talk to who hasn’t seen Gorillaz live seems to have the misconception that their concerts are fully-animated affairs, with the real band hidden behind screens. If you are reading this and are skipping your area’s Gorillaz tour date because of a similar thought, let me tell you that 2010 is the year Gorillaz have come out from behind their rather silly veil to stage an extravagant stage show that features upwards of 25 people on stage at once. The live show is a head-spinning cavalcade of guest-stars and top-notch musicians with so many moving musical parts that every inch of the stage is packed with something interesting for the eyes and the ears. With the latest Gorillaz release, a concept album entitled “Plastic Beach”, and this massive tour, Albarn has finally realized the full musical potential of the novelty Hip-Hop meets Brit-Pop group that he and cartoonist Jamie Hewlett conceived nearly a decade ago. “Escape to Plastic Beach” tour is one of the most unique entertainment events of this year or any other.
Last winter, I got in the mail a love letter from DC Division of Motor Vehicles. It said that because I hadn’t paid a parking ticket, the fine had automatically doubled and I owed them $50.
This was news to me for two reasons. One, my parking was paid up for an hour past the time they say they wrote the ticket, and I still have the receipt to prove it. Two, they hadn’t left me a ticket.
So I sent Adjudication this pertinent info, and the receipt, and asked that they write me when they dropped the matter. I know they got it, because they quickly sent me a form letter saying they’d review it and respond, maybe up to six months later (they must be very busy over there).
That was all I heard. Until this week’s letter, which says that I did not respond at all, thereby deeming admission of the crime, and that if I don’t fork over the money within 10 days, they’ll send me to collections.
I can’t tell if this is a scam, or if they’re just that screwed up. Readers, what do you think? Are they crooked, or inept? And has this happened to you?
I saw this car yesterday and traffic, and immediately noticed that the plate said “HOYAS.” But then I noticed that it’s a black-and-white DC plate, embossed with a die in an older style, and got curious. A vanity plate like “HOYAS” is kind of like getting your first name as a Gmail username- it’s got early-adopter cred like crazy, and you do whatever you have to to to renew it and make sure you keep it, dammit. So over dinner last night, Tom and I got curious and wondered exactly how old this plate was.
In a cost-saving move, the Fenty administration and DC DMV has persuaded the DC Council to end its safety inspection program for private cars. Emissions inspections will still be required every two years, however.
The mayor’s office has said that the city would save $400,000 with the move, which goes into effect on October 1. But is it the right move?
Yesterday, many safety advocates and city mechanics questioned the mayor’s wisdom with the move, saying that thousands of residents already fail to properly maintain their cars. Last year alone, 35 percent of those inspected in the District failed on their first look.
So are our streets about to be flooded with unsafe cars and an increase in wheels on the road? Many residents cite the hassle of the inspection process as one of the reasons they don’t own a car in the District. (Parking is another big one, in case you cared.)
I mentioned last week that I bought an old Vespa scooter and surprisingly I’m still alive and well. The first thing on my list of things to do was to get it inspected – a thought that makes every DC resident shudder. Few people have ever had a smooth experience at the inspection station in SW. I was fully prepared to wait in line for an hour or to be turned away for some idiotic reason.