One last day of street parking–without a ticket or a tow (albeit tons of tension)–and we made it!
Not only that, but for a moment, we were in the tribe…
On our last opposite-side parking adventure, we found a spot almost too good to be true; but then we spotted it… another fire hydrant. (You don’t realize how many hydrants there are until you try to street park.)
We pulled in anyway, thinking/hoping we were far enough away; which was impossible to ascertain given that the markings on the curb were buried in ice and snow. But then another car pulled in front of us, and another car in front of him, and we figured we had to be safe.
When we first considered opposite side parking, my naiveté led me to miscalculate just how many times we’d have to relocate the car. Twice a week, I thought, that’s not too bad. But what I hadn’t figured was the exponential effect of both sides having the twice a week bans.
It wasn’t until the last morning that we noticed how the city folks strategized this equation when we realized that each parked car had a driver in it.
People apparently doubled parked until the street sweeper passed and then pulled back into their spots and waited inside their cars until the 90 minute parking ban was complete.
(Worth noting: the “street sweeper” this time of year is a guy with a shovel or jack hammer or miniature front loader, and plenty of potential parking spots require 4 wheel drive to climb atop the frozen mounds of snow.)
A moment later, a man dressed in a chef’s apron got out of the car closest to the hydrant and proceeded to knock on each of our windows, asking if we’d move back a bit. We all happily complied, even the woman behind us, who had been napping beside her small white dog.
It’s these tiny moments of tenderness that astound me in a city that appears tough and insular. The man in the apron smiled his appreciation and got back into his car as we all waited out the minutes, together.
At the stroke of 10:00 am, a string of car doors opened.
There were no greetings, or smiles, but there was a palpable sense of communion in our footsteps.