Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Street Parking

There’s free parking at my office. Rather, there’s abundant street parking nearby. The best place to park is on Penn Avenue. From where I park, it’s about a block and a half to the office. I leave my car down at the far end of the block because there are some row houses at the close end, numbered 2902 through 2908. There are just four small houses there, next to a compact industrial park with high cyclone fencing and razor wire. I park a substantial distance away from the houses, down by the razor wire, not because I’m afraid of the people in the houses or because I like razor wire, but as a courtesy to the people living there. They’re nice people. They have cars too. They also need places to park. The fact that they can’t afford to live someplace with a driveway or designated space doesn’t mean that they’re not entitled to park in front of their place of residence. There are often broken beer bottles on the sidewalk, likely from the bar across the street. There are childrens’ toys strewn about, and flyers with scantily clad women on them, advertising shitty clubs featuring music by shitty club DJs. Living there must be rough. It’s got to sting to have affluent Caucasians commute in from the suburbs, park their expensive luxury cars in front of your house, and take your space so they can have nice short walks to their well-paying office jobs. I appear to be the only commuter who has thought about this and deliberately decided to park far away, futile as that effort might be. The spaces in front of their houses are almost always filled with the very new and expensive cars of other commuters. The ironic thing is that my car is not a car that you would covet or envy. It’s seven years old and has over 100,000 miles on it. It wasn’t that impressive when it was brand new. I doubt that it would engender much resentment beyond the inconvenience that it would create by occupying one of their spaces. Regardless, I’ll continue parking at the far end of the street, leaving their spaces open, as I like to imagine they appreciate the gesture. They probably still resent me, though, and rightfully so. Who could blame them?

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