So, two li’l stories from today:
1. While I was playing at Metropolitan Ave., a cop walked the length of the platform to my spot. No panic — cops there always seem well-trained on the rules. But then he turned just as he got to my spot — uh-oh — and heck, he gave me a thumbs-up. OK!
2. At the northern end of 81st St — where I’ve been escorted out once and arrested once — two cops came down the stairs and ordered me out. Now, although I may seem to enjoy getting arrested now and again, I too have my limit. And my limit is especially low when a court date (moving into late September) potentially conflicts with my Fulbright grant (starting in October). Harassment doesn’t always come at a good time, and I’m just not sure how many more arrests I can do this summer.
That said, I took a big gulp of air and asked why. “Because you can’t ask for money,” one answered. “Well, let me show you the rules,” I said. Then I read aloud:
“The following nontransit uses are permitted by the Authority […]: public speaking; campaigning; leafletting or distribution of written noncommercial materials; activities intended to encourage and facilitate voter registration; artistic performances, including the acceptance of donations.”
Then I handed over the rule pamphlet and pointed to the passage in yellow. The guy took a quick look. “Enjoy,” he said, handing it back. “‘Scuse me?” “Enjoy,” he said — and they were off back up the steps.