I’ve lived in Paradise too Long


I’ve lived in Paradise too Long

I was reading an entry over at "Alternate Side Parking Reader" and frankly I just can’t understand it. Sort of like I don’t understand a lot of things people do in life.  Folks who live in Manhattan eagerly spend days out of their lives each year sitting in their car waiting for free parking spaces to open up. They have this "law" in the city which I think requires you to move you car a couple of times a week from one side of the street to the other. Supposedly this allows for street cleaning and the like. It also ensures that car’s aren’t abandoned since any that don’t get moved can get towed.

This means that people actually sit in their cars at the bewitching hour and when the clock ticks to the right moment, they move their cars to the other side of the street. They write blogs about the culture. They have stories they pass on from generation to generation about finding the "perfect" parking space.

Don’t get me wrong, I love New York City, its people, the excitement. But frankly this one puzzles me. They have gotten it into their very being that paying for parking is anathema. As Don Shoup wrote in the New York Times:

George Constanza, of “Seinfeld,” said, “My father never
paid for parking, my mother, my brother, nobody. It’s like going to a
prostitute. Why should I pay when, if I apply myself, maybe I could get
it for free?”

When New Yorkers see someone moving into a paid parking garage they shudder, like the garage is some giant maw ready to devour their car and all inside it.

By the way. The Alternate Side Parking Reader has it wrong about Don Shoup and his paying big bucks to park and writing it off. First, I doubt if he has much of an expense account as a professor. Second, he rides a bicycle. Many times in his office I have shared the room with a trusty two wheeler. If you take a peek at his picture in "The High Cost of Free Parking" — you will see photographic proof.

As for living in paradise…I think  I would live anywhere except a place you have to spend even a small part of your waking hours sitting in your car just to be sure you have a free parking space….

Parking is never a problem. Its FREE parking that people seek. If you are willing to pay, there’s always a space.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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