Solemn Ritual Threatened


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?

But ask this: What are we losing by making car owners’ lives less miserable in this city? I mean, why even own a car in New York if agony isn’t the one emotion that your heart truly longs to feel? No, it’s clear that alternate-side parking demands the full ninety minutes of solitude each day, contemplating the fullness of one’s car-owning existence.