Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Parking Hieroglyphics Prove Alien Civilization!

We who park on NYC streets know how to problem solve. To survive we have evolved a keen eyesight and a Water Dowser’s intuition. We can read multiple parking signs at a glance, often correctly. We can measure the distance from a hydrant with RoboCop type accuracy. We have even developed a Parking Map! Which is why this latest discovery, while sure to put me in the history books, was really just all in a day’s parking.
I was parking my car on Columbus Avenue, routinely switching on my infra-red parking locator (You don't have one of those?), when suddenly I saw something that defied human explanation. A whole lot of parking spaces! Immediately I looked around for the net, the snare, the trap that had been so obviously set, but there was nothing there but... but I don't know how to describe it. That's when I realized I had uncovered the most mind boggling, never-before-seen, alien hieroglyphics ever discovered. (sample above)
So complex that they can only be from another solar system, a so superior race. At first, the celestial symbols were incomprehensible, but then I saw them for what they are. Erich Von Daniken was right! The Gods can park their Chariots in the Heavens (or maybe they just rent), but these Aliens have descended and challenged us with encrypted messages for the greatest minds of our civilization to unravel, or be fined and towed. I mean these babies make crop circles look like nursery school doodles.
Applying all my parking skill and finding this DOT page on the internet have helped me to understand and to slowly readjust to our new human/alien society, but if you, like all of the other people on Columbus who didn’t realize they could park in the “Floating Parking Lanes” (parking spaces galore!), are haunted by these secret messages, or feel adrift and without moorings so far from the curb, here is a brief, and hopefully accurate, illustration.

Keep a sharp eye. More coded parking spaces to come.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

City Gives Parking Out to Movies Like Candy

They towed and towed
and why your car
was taken
no one knows

At 11:00 am this morning the tow trucks moved in like an armed insurgence. Drivers were running around looking for their cars. Those at work don't get to find out where their car was towed until they return. The rest scrambled throughout the day to find alternative parking spaces. (except for one lucky motorcycle).

The blocks you see pictured above:

113 Street (a firehouse is located on this street!)
110 Street
109 Street
108 Street
Amsterdam Avenue

are under siege from a movie called Premium Rush and they have been tormenting this neighborhood with their poor planning all Summer. I mean how many takes do they have to get of this neighborhood and wouldn't it make sense to do them all at the same time? Wouldn't it at least be considerate? Or is this neighborhood just another Hollywood set to them.

Hundreds of parking spaces were left empty and unused throughout the day. (They are still unused now). A few film trucks came in during the day using a small fraction of the spaces reserved, but even they left . These pictures were taken at 7:00 pm, 8/19 and by this time many drivers have reclaimed their blocks despite the cones placed there to reserve the spaces, but there are still whole blocks of parking spaces held hostage and the threat of towing tonight has been re-posted (on 110 Street). And don't we just know tickets are being written in those "legal parking spaces" where everyone was towed.

Whose city is this anyway?

If you think this administration is like a glamor-starved fan who would give anything away if it was for the movies, or if you think someone should be monitoring the requests for Parking Permits rather than blushing and rubber stamping them, or if you just don't think this is fair for any reason, click on the image of Mayor Bloomberg to the right and email the Mayor your objections.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Parking Hand Signals (golden oldies)

OK, what is the deal with hand signals? I’m not talking about left turn, right turn types of signals that have become obsolete unless you are limping home with a broken blinker system or just like attention from the NYPD. I’m talking about when you’ve returned from a long weekend and a long drive and have been cruising your neighborhood for a half hour for a parking space, you are driving down a block and, “Eureka!” you spot someone getting into their car. You pull up and, unless you just like to hover and idle your engine for long periods of time, and assuming it is not your teenage daughter and her boyfriend in the car, you query the person on whether they are actually leaving. Those hand signals.
I know we are a multiethnic, multi religious, rainbow colored, many peopled melting pot in the making and in New York so much of it works most of the time. But this brave new experiment has not enabled us to come to an agreement on something as simple as some kind of universal hand signals for leaving/not leaving a parking space. I’ve seen hands going up, hands going down, palms upturned, middle finger extended, hands shooing, fingers fluttering, fingers (or finger) wagging, or nothing at all behind tinted windows so dark that you start to wonder if it wasn’t them who pulled up alongside you. The very same gestures can mean opposite things depending on who is giving them or who is receiving them.
Hand signals are important because we often drive with windows closed, very few drivers are legally blind and can understand visual cues, they are quick and do not require us to have a whole conversation or come to a full stop even. No one wants to hover fruitlessly only to let the row of Sharks (see 5-8-10 post) behind you all pass you by relegating you to the back of the line. So, a quick answer to the obvious question is a useful thing.
Thus, I have conducted a very scientifically extensive, double blind, triple axel (with a twist), 4 wheeled survey of my peers and am proposing a universal set of hand/head signals to indicate your current claim to that parking space where you are squatting.

Courtesy of http://funnyanimatedgifs.net

The nod (smile optional) would be the YES I AM LEAVING and this can include any other message or range of emotions you like, because this news is so good, we are prepared to endure it all knowing we will soon be home and at rest to enjoy a favorite movie or talk to our family or friends. For you more athletic types a thumbs up can sometimes be substituted.

PhotobucketCourtesy of http://www.feebleminds-gifs.com

Holding up 5 fingers to indicate 5 minutes or 10 fingers to indicate 10 minutes. All longer units of time up to and over one hour are not understood to be included in either of these signals. When someone once pointed out a New York minute is about half of everybody else’s, they were obviously talking about a driver waiting for a parking space so please do not abuse this signal. If you are just waiting in your vehicle, and are possessed of divine compassion, you might consider vacating the space and waiting double parked.

Courtesy of http://img150.echo.cx/

In addition to its all important, NO, I AM NOT MOVING primary meaning, the wagging of the index finger to the left and right can also be understood to include an entire rainbow of emotions from “So sorry!” to “Just got here.” to “Can’t I just get a little shut eye without people disturbing me?” I think we owe a debt of gratitude to our Latino parkers here as the wagging finger is a favorite among Hispanic drivers I have seen, and, even though it may make some of us feel like we are misbehaving in class, it seems to be the simplest and easiest understood of hand signals.

Last, but not least. If a driver gets into his or her parked car, but will not answer or even acknowledge your query, maybe won’t even look at you, move on. They have much greater troubles than you.

Please feel free to offer your own suggestions.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Double Parking (a How To editorial)

OK, I know double parking is illegal everywhere in the city and anyone who tries it will be instantly dragged to Hell, but really I think the climate change down there could soon raise real estate values. Sometimes you have to double park, and, if you live on the upper west side, during alternate side hours you might even avoid getting a ticket, so can I at least put my 2 cents in about the lost art of double parking? Even if you are dragged to Hell, those of us left still have to deal with this car you’ve double parked right over where we are legally parked, so a refresher in what is good double parking is a useful thing for all of us living or dead.

My first of 2 cents about correct double parking is location, location, location. The above illustration is an example (cent 1) of good versus evil double parking. I appreciate many people’s sense of order compels them to park right alongside another car as shown in the top of the above illustration. It’s neat. It helps you orientate yourself in space and time but resist this temptation! It is possible to park across 2 cars like in the bottom of the above illustration and still find your way home. It makes for easier opening of car doors, fewer dings to other car doors, not to mention allows the legally parked drivers at your front and back to get out if they need to. I know, at first, it seems hard to make these kinds of drastic changes in your life, but remember at one time you didn't know how to walk and you learned, didn't you? Once you learn to do it, it’s easy and fun. And it saves gas.

My other cent about parking is shown in the very simple second illustration above. It is a bit of a puzzle, but I think we can work it out. If you have to block someone for some really good reason, leave a phone number! The person you are parked alongside may be rushing to the airport, only have minutes to pick up the perfect sized bookcase left on the street, have a life! Chances are if they go through all the taxation and misrepresentation that owning a car in this city requires, they are doing it because they want to be able to use the car when they want to use it!

If you leave a phone number on your dashboard, you give them hope. They are less likely to bang on their horn for 20 minutes. You can come let them out and then take their legal parking space! What a bargain!

So , if you must be dragged to Hell (or just use the subway), let your last act in this life be a thoughtful and considerate one to your neighbors and we will remember you fondly for it.