Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Happy New Year 5769!

I have to admit that I returned to the city this fall with a certain degree of reluctance: instead of being on the Rockaway ferry, gazing out at New York Harbor, I would be sitting in the Éclair, looking at the back of an S.U.V. But a wise person said to me, “Once you cross that bridge”—meaning, in this case, the George Washington—“you’ll find you have inner resources.” And she was right. I found that beautiful spot in the Sanctuary.

Last week, I got an e-mail from the D.O.T. reminding me that alternate-side parking would be suspended for religious holidays Tuesday and Friday (Rosh Hashana and Id al-Fitr). The Sanctuary is a Monday/Thursday spot, a circumstance that has increased my religious feeling for those days of the week. I fully intended to use the car over the weekend and look for a Tuesday/Friday spot when I returned. But the weather was not such that it inspired me to go to Rockaway (I asked myself “Beach or boat?” and the answer came back: “Movie”). So I stayed in the Sanctuary, though I would have liked to observe the Jewish New Year and Id al-Fitr (I think this is the holiday when the Muslims get new clothes for the pilgrimage to Mecca, but I could be wrong).

Today I was inspired to pluck my Alternate-Side Parking Rules off the refrigerator and prepare for the new season. No wonder I draw inspiration from autumn in New York: Rosh Hashanah kicks off several months of good parking. Next Thursday (Oct. 9) is Yom Kippur, the following Monday is Columbus Day, followed immediately by Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, and Simhat Torah (though this last falls on Wednesday and doesn’t do me any good); then comes Diwali, on Tuesday, October 28, and All Saints Day (this falls on Saturday, following what is sure to be a Sarah Palin Halloween—the streets will be littered with wigs); then Election Day (can it finally happen after this eternal campaign?) and Veterans Day, both Tuesdays, which brings us to Thanksgiving, the Immaculate Conception (Monday, Dec. 8th), overlapping with Il al-Adha (Monday-Wednesday, Dec. 8-10), and Christmas. What a whirl!

Many of these holidays fall on Tuesday, so I am going to have to adjust. I sat in the car yesterday (Monday) for a half hour, telling myself that even though I hadn’t scored a completely free pass for the week by finding a Tuesday/Friday spot, it wasn’t so bad to get out early and guzzle a latte in the car, and I was resigned to do the same on Thursday. But this morning I took another look at that e-mail from the Mayor: I had misread it. The Mayor’s missive says, “Alternate side parking (street cleaning) regulations will be suspended on Tuesday-Friday, September 30-October 3, for holiday observance of Rosh Hashanah (September 30-October 1) and Idul-Fitr (October 1-3).” So I don't have to sit in the car on Thursday—I am good in the Sanctuary for the rest of the week. What a difference a hyphen makes!

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