Yesterday, because I took some clothes to the cleaners and was on my parking block anyway, I decided to see if my car was O.K. In a sense, it was another day off for the Alternate Side Parker, because if I’d parked on the other side of the street, I’d have had to be in the car at 7:30 in the morning. Such is my absent-mindedness that by the time I got to that block I’d forgotten what I was doing there and was surprised to see a car that looked just like mine parked across the street. It was behind a moving van, and I paused for a moment, wondering if I should volunteer to back up and give the movers a little room. But they had plenty of room. Looking around a bit, I realized that there were a lot of moving vans on that side of the street. Some small green signs were taped irregularly to the signposts. They said, “No Parking Today,” by order of the Police Department.
Well. If they expected us to obey that sudden law, they should have given us warning back on Tuesday, when we secured these places through next Tuesday, if need be. I decided I just wasn’t going to worry about it. It has been a problem with that side of the street that it is subject to sudden rule changes. There are often special events in the building with the big copper bands on it. Now that the scaffolding is down, that building looks like a huge—I mean, city-block-size—pirate’s chest. People are always coming and going, filling it up and emptying it out.
I checked this morning to make sure my car was still there. Much of that side of the street was barricaded and marked off with orange cones looped together with yellow tape, but my car, down at the end of the block, was O.K.: no tow, no ticket, no barricade. So far Id al-Fitr has been good to me, Allah be praised.