On Sunday, I brushed the snow off my car at about noon and set off to find a spot, following some real-estate advice that I heard years ago: Go to the block you want to live on and look there. With high hopes, I went first to the Best Possible Parking Spot (Monday & Thursday 8-8:30) and found the snow undisturbed on a row of six cars. Onward, then, to my old faithful spot (Monday & Thursday, 7:30-8), where luck was also not with me. I’d given up a spot on a block I’d never had the pleasure of parking on before, quite near home, which would have been good till Monday at 8 A.M. And then I had a brainstorm: Why not look for a Tuesday-Friday spot and not have to move at all on Monday?
This worked fine, and continued to seem like a good idea, until Tuesday, when I saw it for what it was: a prodigy of procrastination.
Tuesday is Garbage Day on the block where I lurk in a line of double parkers. A school bus is trying to get past a garbage truck. Behind it waits a long line of cars and another garbage truck. Oddly, no one complains about the lane taken up by double parkers. There is tolerance for our Alternate-Side religion.
There are two cars double-parked behind me, and three legal spots across the street. An S.U.V. that didn’t move gets a ticket while we wait for the broom. The guy blocked in at the parking meter next to me taps on my window, wanting to get out. It’s 9:40, and I’m ready to move across the street and claim a spot, but he says all I have to do is back up, there’s room, and anyway traffic is now streaming through without a break. While I am letting him out, the guy behind me crosses the street and takes up two spots between the hydrant and the S.U.V. that got a ticket. When there’s finally an opening, I pull up alongside of him and ask if he would either back up or pull forward to make room for me (he pulls up). Meanwhile, the car that was behind him scoops in, and I wish evil upon him if he dares nose into my spot, but he settles for parallel parking in a tight spot behind the S.U.V.
All the cars that were double parked ahead of us are moving into position, too. We are taking our chances: the broom has not yet come. We are hoping that its driver took one look down the block while it was choked with garbage trucks and school buses and decided the hell with it.
And we were lucky. The broom did not come today.