Day 335

Illicit reflection

November 29th, 2012

Bathed in the light of the late-afternoon sun, the Bronx County Courthouse was beautifully rendered on the hood and windshield of this vehicle conveniently parked in a no-parking zone located right at the midpoint of the building's western facade.

As I began to take this photo, a police officer (the one pictured) emerged from the courthouse to ask me what I was doing. I explained to her that the reflection of the building looked "really cool". Drawing a line in the sand, she decided to exert her authority by telling me that I would not be allowed to take pictures of this car, because "it has an 'Official' license plate."

I told her that I'm well within my rights to photograph cars and buildings from the vantage point of a public street. Seeking a compromise that would shut me up without having to show "weakness" by admitting she was wrong, she told me that I could take as many pictures as I wanted of the building, the other cars parked nearby, and the building's reflection on those other cars, but that I couldn't take any photos of this one vehicle, not even a close-up shot of the hood with no identifying information visible.

Arguing with her was about as fruitful as trying to have a reasoned discussion with a grumpy four-year-old. I eventually realized that I had made my point as best I could, and so I stepped a few feet to the right, where another dark-colored car was parked...


  1. Tom says:

    Good for you for standing up for your rights. Petty bureaucrats are far too prevalent in today’s America. And you got a great picture in any event.

  2. Cheryl says:

    She just wanted to push her so-called authority to the limits. Shame on her and the corrupt person who abused the parking privilege. GOOD FOR YOU FOR KNOWING AND VERBALIZING YOUR RIGHTS.

  3. Steve says:

    Reminds me of a scene in “This is Spinal Tap” :

    [discussing Nigel’s Guitar collection]
    Nigel Tufnel: Look… still has the old tag on, never even played it.
    Marty DiBergi: [points his finger] You’ve never played…?
    Nigel Tufnel: Don’t touch it!
    Marty DiBergi: We’ll I wasn’t going to touch it, I was just pointing at it.
    Nigel Tufnel: Well… don’t point! It can’t be played.
    Marty DiBergi: Don’t point, okay. Can I look at it?
    Nigel Tufnel: No. no. That’s it, you’ve seen enough of that one.

  4. Nose Knows says:

    So the credo goes: We can’t let the terroists win. I think the paranoia that exists in our country (this being an example) is an example that, well, maybe the terroists did win.

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