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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I Hate NY #2 - Parking

It is impossible to find parking in New York. In the time it takes you to read this sentence someone has already taken the first open parking spot you saw, and a guy in an acura has pulled up behind him to ask if he is leaving and how soon. The second open spot you saw has a fire hydrant in front of it that is obscured by giant bags of trash which are being picked through by a homeless man who is looking to add to the worlds largest collection of aluminum cans being carried around at any one time by one person.

But yet, some people persist in attempting to park their car in New York. Very often they will drive around for up to an hour in an 8 block radius from their destination thinking that eventually a spot will open up. Yes, eventually if you drive around in New York enough, a parking spot may open up. You may also be struck by lightning while fishing. The odds are about the same.

Parking signs in New York are not your friend. They are often mislabeled, confusing, or defaced so as to be illegible. It doesn't matter if you can't read them, or that they are written in Greek. You are still still responsible for whatever the sign says. Because of this, New Yorkers automatically mistrust all open parking spots and whenever they have to be somewhere for less than an hour they just double park.

New Yorkers are constantly surprised when they are ticketed.

"HOLY F-N S--T! I just went inside for 2 minutes to pay a phone bill and I come out and they're towing my car!" is a typical story told by countless put upon New Yorkers to anyone within earshot who will listen to them.

Non residents are not advised to attempt parking here for any reason unless you are prepared to willingly give up your sanity.

Parked cars are considered a danger to motorists on the road and so they often respond the only way they know how - by scraping or running into parked vehicles and then quickly driving off.

I recently witnessed a taxi pull up in front of another taxi to drop off a passenger. The passenger opened the door to get out and struck the other taxis tail light. The taxi driver who's cab was hit jumped out of the car and started screaming in Iranian or whatever his native language was about who's going to pay for this and give me your number and that sort of thing. The offending taxi driver (who hadn't even got out of the car) responded calmly by saying he was going to write his info down and give it to him, and then he pulled the passenger back inside and drove off into the night leaving the other guy to helplessly give chase and scream things at him.

In New York, signs are posted on every block about street sweeping rules which tell you (for instance) that you cannot park on this side of the street on Tuesday or Thursday between 10am and 12pm in order for giant disgusting street sweeping trucks come by to clean the streets. The people who live on these streets apparently never leave and so are able to move their cars when the street sweepers come and then move back at about 11:40am. Then they sit in their cars for about 10 minutes to see if any cops come by then go back inside to look out for any meddling kids who are trying to stop whatever it is that they were trying to get away with.

Unless you are prepared to do nothing but babysit your car all day on the street, the only real solution to parking is to pay hundreds of dollars to a parking garage every month, and then laugh at everyone because of your big bankroll.

I parked my car for a year in New York, before crashing it in New Jersey at 6 in the morning on the way to a music video shoot for Aerosmith, and I've been a lot happier ever since.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

I Hate NY #1

# 1 Everyone in New York is angry all the time

There are 10 million people living in New York City and thousands who visit every day from all parts of the world. The people who visit are happy and wander around aimlessly pointing up at the sky with their cameras dangling around their necks amazed at all the sights and wonders that await them around every corner. The people who live here just wish they and everyone else would get the hell out of the way so they can get to where they are going.

Living in New York makes people angry. It takes forever to get to anywhere, everyone is always in your way, homeless people are begging you for money, and everything costs too much.

Its hard to walk down a street in New York during the day and not see someone randomly curse someone out on the phone. It often goes something like this:

"Yo I told you to get me my f--n money. I'm f--n serious. Jesus I'm sick of this sh--. What do you mean you can't? You said it would be here today! F--k"

And that guy was probably just talking to his mom too who he still lives with.

I moved to New York almost five years ago, and one of my earliest memories is of crossing a street in Times Square and a car cut this guy off to my left. Right as we reached the other sidewalk he turned and said "Thanks a lot lady. You F--n B--ch!

I was at dinner tonight with some friends and a casual conversation was struck up about how everyone wished that people would just get the f--k out of their way sometimes. Naturally this seemed totally normal and this same conversation was probably had hundreds of times that night by other people all across the city. It's because we all have a mutual understanding and trust. We know that New York makes you hate everyone. This is a statement of fact. We poke fun of this in our daily conversations because its a way to relate to other people.

In New York we think everyone is out to get us, and its probably because they are. Stories cram up the local papers about slumlords who let apartment buildings crumble down on top of their tenants and never raise a finger to help unless the threat of a lawsuit is raised. It's almost impossible to rent an apartment in New York without paying a realtor an entire months rent up front and we think it's normal and it is, because this is New York.

Everything in New York that people are looking for, be it work in fashion or entertainment, housing or other jobs, are full of people that are waiting to fleece you or scam you, or otherwise prey upon you in some way to take your money. They do this because they know that in New York a sucker is not born every minute, he is born every second and just got off the bus at Port Authority.

If you're not angry right now, then you don't live here.