In New York City, if you own a car, and you street park said car, it is your responsibility to not be too precious about it. Your car will get nicked, or someone will take up more space than they need, or you will forget to move your car and get a ticket, all of which is irritating, but you’ve learned to accept things in life. This shit, though, is beyond the pale.
If you don’t live in New York, a thing to understand before we get to the shit in question is that it is free to park on most residential streets without any kind of permit. Free to park that is, except the hour-and-a-half window each week that is for street cleaning. In neighborhoods where there is more money (and thus likely higher rates of car ownership), this can turn into a bit of a blood sport, given the lack of space and all the cars competing for spots.
It’s not uncommon, for example, on street cleaning days, for people to get in their cars, double park on the other side of the street, stay in their cars, wait for the street cleaner to come through, and then immediately re-park in the spot they vacated — lest they lose it — and then sit and wait for the street cleaning window to close. This is a dance that is a bit ridiculous, but, if you happen to live in a neighborhood that requires it, one with which you quickly become familiar.
What is NOT common and NOT OK and honestly a bit unsettling is the behavior described in the following tweets.
In a subsequent tweet, Mr. Gara, who used to work at BuzzFeed and now works at Facebook, revealed that he lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant, a Brooklyn neighborhood that is so rapidly gentrifying that it might in fact now be considered gentrified, period.
It’s possible this was a local custom before the gentrifiers showed up, in which case the official ruling is that we must allow it.
If this is, instead, a practice that the gentrifiers wrought, I’m sorry to report that the official ruling is that we must light each and every car double-parked overnight on fire. To the gentrifiers, I also say: You can simply rent a spot in a garage if you wish to avoid parking tactics of the end times. In Bed-Stuy, that might set you back another $300 a month, but, let’s be honest, you’re probably already paying several thousand dollars a month for your apartment to begin with, and what’s another $300 between friends.
Further, let’s say one had some kind of emergency in the middle of the night and needed their car, only to find that someone had double-parked and blocked them in. In that situation, I would feel for that someone’s car, which would probably not emerge unscathed. I’ve rarely been happier to live in Queens, where no one in my neighborhood double parks their car overnight, because, come on, that would be ridiculous.