Monday, March 25, 2013

Celebrating the art of parking in New York

Hello from New York. Katie and I are here on our winter/spring trip to see a show, visit some people, go to a museum, run and eat out.

Although it's spring, the weather is awful, with cold gusty winds and snow flurries alternating with rain. We braved the elements this morning to jog on the path alongside the Hudson River, and, interestingly, I found it easier that at running around the lake at home. That's because at home, I know exactly how far I'm going and always have to decide if I'm going to run another loop around the lake or not. Here, I just took off in a straight line and didn't try to gauge the distance. Also, the change of scene helped.

Yesterday we ate our way down from Massachusetts, stopping at my cousin Peter's in Riverdale for over-stuffed deli sandwiches and then proceeding to Aunt Marge's, where we had Chinese food. After that, we just had to wash all this food down with frozen yogurt.

This morning I played the New York parking game, which was successful, although at times my heart raced.

Alternate side of the street parking was in effect, despite the bad weather. I was like a kid hoping for a snow day, only I was hoping that the parking rule would be suspended so I wouldn't have to sit in the car for an hour and a half. We had parked on the side of the street where parking was not allowed between 8:30 and 10 a.m. Monday and Thursday due to street cleaning. Uptown where I grew up, the window was only a half an hour, but down here on 16th St. where we are staying at Serena's apartment, they really make it difficult.

I got up at 8, got my muffin and coffee and got into the car. After 8:30, everyone moved over to double-park on the right until the street cleaner came. It came about 9, at which point everyone started up their cars and began to head back to the other side of the street. This is where it gets dicey, because anyone who has not put in the work can come up the street and scoot into your space. With practiced finesse, I went between a parked truck and a car that had just moved over and maneuvered back into my space. Whew!

Then I still had an hour to finish my cold coffee and read the newspaper.

The car is now good for tomorrow...and the next day. I figure the money I saved on a garage will pay for our dinners.

Upstairs, Katie gave me a high-five. And I'm sure that up in heaven, my father, who taught me everything I know about the art of parking in New York, was celebrating too.

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