The history of alternate-side parking in New York City is medium-length and not all that glorious, but the particular way that it warps space and time has produced not so much a peculiar set of rituals and customs as wholly alternate ways of living—existences that could be threatened by a proposed rule change that would allow drivers to swiftly re-park their cars after a street sweeper has passed. The rule change, provided one could verify that the sweeper has indeed passed, is logical on its face: Why shouldn't a car be able to immediately return to its spot once the impetus for its removal has passed?[...]
"It is a cliché almost as old as the motor car itself, and the subject of many a sexist joke. But the idea that women cannot park is simply untrue, according to research indicating that female drivers are more adept than men at manoeuvring into a space."
Mary Norris doesn’t want other people to know where the block she dubs “the Sanctuary” is located, so I won’t provide the key details. But, like most streets in Manhattan, twice a week, parking is prohibited on each side of the Sanctuary under the “alternate-side parking” program, which allows New York Department of Sanitation sweepers to clean the curb. Unlike most other city blocks, however, the ban only lasts half an hour, instead of the usual hour and a half, giving Norris plenty of time to get to work by 10 a.m. Moreover, in a rarity for Manhattan, the Sanctuary is a cul-de-sac, and one not easily accessed from [...]
For reasons complicated and uninteresting, I found myself driving a car around the Lower East Side yesterday morning, looking for a parking spot. Stopped at a red light at Canal and Eldridge, singing along with Soundgarden's "Fell On Black Days," which Matt Pinfield was playing on 101.9, I saw a man walking down the street carrying an axe. It was a large axe, not a hatchet. He held it in both hands, handle across his chest, the wide, sharp wedge of it's blade glinting in the sunshine on an otherwise normal day.
The predominant strategy for parking in Los Angeles is to find the closest available space to the entrance of wherever it is you're going. This is flawed thinking, at least when parking at the ArcLight Hollywood. Drive, drive, around the back, all the way up to the top. Let everyone else waste the precious minutes of their lives searching for the 24 spaces left on P3 that are promised to them by a digital display just inside the main gate. Get to the roof and you will be rewarded with acres of empty spots, not to mention some of the best views [...]