I Wanna Know

PW exposes the tricks, scams and truth about the powers that be.

By Sammy Mack
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Apr. 7, 2004

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Q: Sometimes I have to tap the car in front of or behind me to quickly parallel park and let honking traffic get by. Am I correct in thinking that tapping is to be expected with city parking, or am I just another Philly jerk?

A: "There's nothing in the books that requires a police officer to write a ticket," says Cpl. Jim Pauley of the Philadelphia Police Department. As long as there's no damage, nothing's stopping you from being a lousy parallel parker. "I can certainly understand why someone would be upset ... You should be able to pull right into a spot," he says. Meanwhile, Stephen Valentine, co-owner of Juniper Auto Repair, raises an important issue: People get parked in. "Sometimes you can't get out without bumping them," he says. His verdict on parking-nudge etiquette? "You try to avoid it if you can. But sometimes you just don't care."

Q: Where can I get rolling papers discreetly?

A: "I've got, like, 12 or 15 different brands," says Harry Kurtz, owner and namesake of Harry's Smoke Shop on Third and Church streets. Open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, the shop specializes in cigars and tobacco products. Harry offers cigarette papers, but no glass pipes--it's not that kind of shop. While Harry does wonder why anyone would need to be discreet, customer transactions are low-key and friendly. "They just ask for rolling papers," he says. If that isn't discreet enough, there's always www.rollingpaperwarehouse.com. "We don't share information with anyone," says company co-founder Ken Coppoletta. "We don't even maintain a mailing list." Coppoletta and his partners started the site three years ago when they realized there were few places to discreetly purchase quality rolling paper. The website now offers more than 150 different brands. For customers concerned with leaving a paper trail, purchases made with a credit card will register "RPW Sales" on your billing statement. The company also accepts money orders. The rolling papers will usually arrive within three days of payment and are shipped in an official U.S. Postal Service box.

What do you wanna know? Send queries and complaints to Sammy Mack at smack@philadelphiaweekly.com

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