human nature and parking

Here in Manhattan street parking isn't that difficult. We'd debated flying here because we'd imagined parking a car (or even having a car!) in NYC to be too big a burden. The cost of a parking garage was intimidating and meter parking is not even an option when you're here for 5 weeks. We didn't expect it to be so similar to Montreal in that there is ample street parking (maybe not right in front of your house, but nearby enough) so long as you move your car from time to time. We can park for free, except from 8:30am-10am on Mondays and Thursdays. We're used to this in Montreal, so it wasn't shocking or annoying, but I realize it would be a huge burden for others.

Little did I know that this twice-weekly hour and a half would be a free for all of human nature at it's worst.

The first morning was frustrating because I woke up, moved our car (which was parked right in front of our building) to a street nearby, and returned for 10am. Two things happened: every car was already moved back and we had no parking, and I realized I didn't have to leave my street after all. Great. In Manhattan, there's a strange rule where for that hour and a half, it's totally acceptable to double park, blocking someone in completely. I guess they also know that during that hour and a half they can't go anywhere. So all I had to do was cross the street and park "illegally". Oh, and people move their cars at 8:45am and 9:35am respectively. So don't even think you're getting a spot if you go on time.

Now that I'm wise to this, I've got it down pat, but it hasn't helped me escape the throes of the angry New Yorker, pre-caffeine.  Mornings are hard for all of us, but it's just so obvious how "out for number one" everyone is during this time. Today I was parking my car and all the sudden a guy jumped out and started banging on my trunk. I was only 4 feet from the car behind me so I knew I wasn't about to hit a car....WHAT THE HECK?

I rolled down my window and a guy, around my age, yelled "my girlfriend is parking here!". To which I replied, "sorry man, your girlfriend's car isn't here, and I've got a stroller in my trunk so I need to be as close to my building as possible for my kids". I figured it was polite enough, but also firm enough, and completely fair. I was already half in the spot and her car was nowhere to be found. He did not agree.

He hit my trunk one more time and then yelled "whatever. I guess I'll just put the keg in my back seat on my $#^&-ing back then!". Ok. I'm sorry for not putting your beer keg ahead of my two young children. Except I didn't say that. I just continued parking my car and then headed back into our building.

What got me so frustrated this morning is that it's not the first morning. It's every Monday and Thursday morning, since we've been here. There is always a fight to the spots. Always honking and yelling. I go as early as possible to avoid this, and it's rarely directed at me, but it's still there.

As a whole, I'd say New Yorkers are far kinder and more welcoming than their international reputation suggests. Aside from one angry man who quasi-verbally-accosted us on our first day here, we have amazing things to say about this city and it's people. With the exception of Monday and Thursday mornings, from 8:30am-10am. 

I'm not surprised that everyone is looking out for themselves exclusively.  It's just frustrating to be on the receiving end of such selfishness. But I know I've put others on the receiving end of my own human nature. Be it selfishness, or any other sin or vice. I know I'm no different from these car-movers of Gotham, but this morning it really got me livid. Livid and longing. For new hearts and renewed cities.

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. 
And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 
[ezekiel 36:26]


  1. Parking is the worst ever. I can only imagine what it is like for you in the city! I am your newest follower and I am in LOVE with your blog! It is so stinkin adorable!! I am so glad I found it! WOuld love for you to stop by and follow along if you'd like :)


  2. :( that's crazy!! way to hold your own and keep perspective!! ps. i tried the pumpkin cookies recipe... lovely! -enjoying one right now!!