TAXIS: Unequal Court Houses
I JUST RETURNED FROM GRABBING COFFEE across the street from my office in the Court House section of Arlington. I'm not sure what the deal is with the corner of Clarendon Boulevard and N. Courthouse Road, but this is the second time in less than 24 hours that someone has asked me directional questions regarding court houses in Virginia. Just now, a taxi pulled up to the curb and a polite man with an English accent asked me how to get to the "Alexandria court house."
"Oh, you're in Arlington. Wrong court house. You want the federal court house in Alexandria?" I asked.
"Yes, the Alexandria federal court house," he replied.
SO I PROCEEDED to give the taxi rider -- not the taxi driver -- exact directions to the federal court house in Alexandria, which is at least a 25-minute drive from the Arlington County court house complex during the morning rush hour. (Clarendon Boulevard down into Rosslyn will run into Route 110 ... which will run into Route 1 ... and on into Alexandria.)
"395?" the cabbie asked me.
"Well, you could take 395 to King Street and on into Alexandria," I replied. But sensing that the man was in a hurry, I said ... "But that will take much more time."
"110 to Route 1?" the British passenger asked.
"Yes," I replied, full knowing that that quite possibly, the cab will be circling the parking lot of the Potomac Yard Shoppers Food Warehouse, after the driver sees the "Welcome to Alexandria" sign after you cross Four Mile Run on the Jefferson Davis Highway/Route 1.
So good luck getting to court. Isn't jury selection continuing today for the Moussaoui penalty phase at the Alexandria federal court house? (Research ... yes.) It’s so lovely when cab drivers have no idea where they’re going, especially when it’s their job to know such things.
AS FOR THE SECOND court house inquiry, on Sunday a woman on a bike stopped me on the sidewalk trying to find the movie theatres at Arlington Court House, which is tucked inside the courtyard of the Arlington County complex. Sort of tricky to find, but yet, not that tricky.
>> IN RELATED NEWS, D.C. cabbies are angered and are going to court. "Cabbie Residency Law Hauled Into D.C. Court" [WP]
Image of Alexandria's federal court house from the Alexandria City Public Schools