At 7:35, the cop arrives in his three-wheeler. I am eating strawberries and reading about the “dark and spectacular volcanic cloud” that Iceland released over northern Europe. The volcano (pronounced EYE-a-fyat-la-jo-kutl) apparently caused flooding in Iceland. How does a volcano cause flooding? You have to get all the way to the end of the Times article to find out: the eruption melted a glacier.
Three motorcycles are parked across the street, taking up a perfectly good parking space east of a fire hydrant. A fourth arrives and parks on the other side of the fire hydrant, in a spot just big enough for a Mini Cooper. In front of me is a boxy gray Mercedes-Benz G500 (descended from a military vehicle, she is “loaded with standard luxury features such as a leather interior, premium wood trim, rear parking assistance with camera, rapid HDD navigation system with aerial view, bi-xenon headlights, rain-sensing wipers, dual zone climate control, heated/cooled power driver and passenger seats with memory” —this from Wikipedia). Behind me is a woman who looks like a gym teacher, circa 1968; her car has been here since last Friday. I should talk: as of tomorrow, the Éclair will have been gathering rust in this spot for three full weeks.
A reader named Dexter commented (see below) on StreetParkNYC, the new service “matching drivers looking for street parking spaces with those leaving spaces.” It is a Web-based service (not, as I wrote, an iPhone app), so even I could use it, and Dexter says it’s fun. I will add it to my links and consider joining, but here is my qualm: I like to think that my parking blocks are well-kept secrets, and if I sell my space to someone, that someone will then know my secrets and may return, so that I would be creating competition for my favorite parking spots. Hmm …
At 7:48, the Broom heads south on the avenue ahead of me. High drama in the rearview mirror as a truck tries to squeeze past a garbage truck, churning away in the double-parked position favored by all garbage trucks. The truck squeezes through, but the next truck will not risk it. At 7:59, the garbage truck moves, freeing the stuck truck and an Access-a-Ride minibus that cuts it off. The Broom must have seen the congestion and swept on by. In any case, it is a no-show, and once again I don't have to start the car.
The lady behind me gets out of her car. I don’t suppose she really is a gym teacher. She is wearing one of those therapeutic cervical collars. Either that or a really big turtleneck.