Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Peculiarities of parking in Brooklyn

We live on the block with primarily private houses. So common sense would suggest that finding parking there should not be an ordeal because every one of those private houses has a driveway that would easily fit two cars. Easily. Not so. Parking space any time of the day is hard to come by, and after 6 p.m. it is simply non-existent. Since we come home after 7 p.m., parking presents a particular challenge for us. On more than one occasion we circled around the neighborhood for close to 20 minutes, going as far as six blocks away from where we live, only to be unable to find a spot, any spot. And with $200 worth of groceries and two tired toddler in tow, this particular exercise seems even less fun. At the same time, all these driveways are completely empty most of the time, and G-d help you if you block them for more than 30 seconds.

One of our neighbors shows particular devotion to her husband. When she comes home from work around 2 or 3 p.m., she parks her car smack in the middle of two parking spots, so that her husband, who comes home around nine, doesn’t have to look for parking. She simply moves her car into the first spot, and he occupies the second. The idea that someone might desperately need that second spot during the 6-7 hours of her husband’s absence probably doesn’t cross their mind or simply doesn’t bother them. And the funniest thing of all? Their driveway is always empty. Her husband simply could pull into it at any time of the day. But why worry about anyone else?

These peculiar parking habits are unfortunately not unique to our block. The block where we used to live before had similar issues. Again, one of our neighbors could not tolerate anyone other than herself parking in front of her house, which was situated between two driveways. Once hubby had to use that spot because the spot in front of our house was taken (our landlord didn’t let us use the driveway, so we had no option but to park on the street.) The minute we got out of the car, our neighbor started yelling at hubby that he was blocking both her and her neighbor’s driveways. Hubby looked at this woman in complete bewilderment. He wasn’t blocking anything! Our car fit perfectly into that spot. Yet the lady continued to yell that we were blocking her driveway, causing her unimaginable discomfort and pain, and that she would call the cops. Hubby said, “Go ahead.” Of course she didn’t, and even if she did, we got no ticket that day. Again, the most peculiar thing about this exchange was that at the time of her yelling her car was parked at a curbside a few feet from ours. As a matter of fact, it was always parked at the curbside, which left the supposedly blocked driveway free pretty much all of the time. And all that pain and suffering? Probably self-inflicted.

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