Day 127: Parking’s For Suckers
I know that I’m beating a dead horse. Yesterday’s title also included the word, “parking”. But I swear this time I won’t be listing off garbage. Instead, I’m going to lament one last time about the garbage that is parking in Prospect Park South/Ditmas Park/ Flatbush/West Flatbush/Kensington/NoKeDi. Mainly because this is the last time I’ll have a chance to do so. Tomorrow is Top 5 Sunday, Monday I’ll probably write about memories in the apartment and Tuesday will probably be a Haiku because I’ll be busy moving all day. So let me clear the air:
Fuck parking. Parking is stupid. If I never have to do it again, it’ll be too soon.
You’re probably thinking one of three things.
1) BuT cOzE, tHeReS wAy ToO mAnY cArS oN tHe RoAd AnD pEdEsTrIaN dEaThS aRe Up ThIs YeAr! If AnYtHiNg, ThErE sHoUlD bE lEsS pArKiNg!
Eat shit, sir or ma’am. There’s nothing inherently wrong with owning a car and using it in moderation. Also, pedestrian deaths are up because we’re in the middle of a jay walking and eBike epidemic. It’s really easy to get hit by a car when you walk in the middle of the street with your face buried in a phone or when you run a red light on your bike without even looking. You can’t tell me I’m wrong. I see this shit daily.
2) You’ve already complained about parking multiple times!
Yeah, but it’s been like a year since I did that. After Trump took office, people didn’t stop complaining about him. Even now that he’s gone, people are still complaining about him. Parking isn’t much different. It’s consistently shitty and worthy of any shit talk that people can muster.
3) Yeah, I know, parking also sucks in [insert city here]. Some nights, I can’t get a spot in front of my place.
Okay, cool, but can you get it on your block? Or the block after that? Or even in a mile radius? Have you ever had to drive around for hours trying to find any spot that’s halfway legal? Does your city even do Alternate Side, bro? Fuck outta here.
And that’s really the crux of it all. So many nights I’ve had to drive around endlessly trying to find any measly place that I can fit my small car. The neighborhood I live in is just as overcrowded as it is middle class. Which means that each large apartment complex probably has at least 25 people that own cars, but there’s only 6-10 legal parking spaces for each one. So all the cars have to spread out beyond Beverly Rd, where there are houses with driveways. It seems like there would be parking spaces there, but there are still too many cars spilling out into the area. On top of that, there are still hydrants, ultra-wide driveways and that stupid thing where there’s two driveways next to each other with a patch of lawn in between that isn’t big enough to fit a parking spot.
So I always have to drive further and further away from home, trying to find a corner of Kensington where the complex dwellers has deemed too far to walk from. But after 1 AM, even those spots are spoken for. So I have to resort to semi-illegal means: squeezing in at the end of a block and touching a portion of the cross-walk. I’m never proud of it and I almost always get dirty looks or yelled at. The other day, I had to park with the back tires touching the cross walk and the curb was so busted up that I couldn’t open the door. Because it was nearing 2 AM and I had literally no other options, I had to climb over to the passenger side to get out. And I was about a mile away from home. If that’s not a testament to how bad it is over here, I don’t know what is.
It used to cause me a lot of unneeded stress. Every time I turned the car on, I would dread the inevitable hunt. As time went on, I learned to face it with a dark sense of humor. After a half hour, I just start laughing manically every time I see someone hogging two spots or a three wide driveway. Because it’s stupid. It’s just fucking stupid and there’s nothing I can do about it. There’s no tricks or parking gimmicks. There is just nowhere to park and I can’t change that. Every time I leave the car to find that the back end is kind of in a driveway or a spot gets sniped by somebody with a machine gun bumper sticker, I die a little bit inside. And at this point, it’s just hilarious. As time goes on, it’s only going to get worse. Parking’s for suckers. I can’t wait until we have self-driving cars. Not so that I can be lazy, but so that I don’t have to worry about short-term parking. If I need to drive somewhere in Manhattan, I would rather have the car drive around the block by itself for a half hour than pay 40 bucks for parking. They can even make the right lane of avenues be strictly for idling and double parking. Lord knows that’s what it’s there for anyway.
Which reminds me of something else I hate. Double parking. On my side of Beverly Rd, every street is a minefield of double parkers. I sometimes feel like I’m driving through a war zone, just zig-zagging left and right to avoid landmines. Even with my tiny-ass car, it’s stressful. I truly can’t imagine what it would be like to drive an SUV in my neighborhood. When I’m not able to squeeze into semi-legal spots or maneuver double parkers with ease. I probably would have either crashed the car or given up altogether. And yet, SUVs make up maybe 40% of the car population around here. People are fucking crazy and I just don’t get it.
Parking’s a little bit different in the new neighborhood. In order to find parking, I have to drive onto the sidewalk and wait for the slow door to open. Then I have to drive down a 115 degree incline which sometimes makes my stomach drop. Then I have to go through the effort to turn on my headlights. If that’s not bad enough, I have to squint to read the numbers on the parking spots, because I still don’t have my own memorized. Once I’ve parked, I have to walk a whole 20 feet to the elevator that goes straight to my floor. And if I had garbage in my car, I have to walk an extra 5 feet to the countless trash cans and recycling bins to properly dispose them in. Also, the garage is heated, so I’ll never again feel the joy of cleaning snow off my car or waiting for it to warm up. It’s such a goddamn bummer, but I can learn to live with it.
How in the hell did I get so lucky?