"If it's not fun, why do it?"

Posts tagged ‘Car Wars’

Dodging a Bullet

Broken Auto Glass

The car next to mine wasn’t so lucky.

Parking in Washington Heights, and I assume in all of Manhattan, plays like a game of roulette. Sometimes you win, sometimes you just have to try again. Closer to home is better, naturally, but I have parked nearly a mile away (20 minute walk without bags) a number of times. I can usually assess when parking will be found without cruising around. Certainly, after 10 p.m. you can forget about a parking space. That’s when I cruise over to my favorite lot and say ¡hola! to the guy who knows me (or my car) already. Gracias por tu ayuda, and hand over $12 in the morning.

I had parked Freddie Ford on the Friday side and today is Friday. I hastened up the hill to rescue Freddie before the parking tickets would begin to multiply. Sweating profusely, I walked along Amsterdam Avenue, nearly ¾ of a mile from home, where I’d placed my car the other day after a fruitless half hour of riding around (before 8:30 p.m. yet!).  I noticed broken glass glistening in the street in already empty spaces. A frisson of fear ran along my back and I walked further down the row.

The car next to mine had been broken into, apparently. I feel like I dodged a bullet. Already on three occasions I found Freddie’s driver’s side mirror missing. I didn’t need to deal with broken auto glass.

Could it be that the thieves had compassion because there was a crushed liquor mini under the rear tire? Maybe they sensed that the CD changer doesn’t work and it frequently doesn’t play CDs either. It’s probably more so that my car is older and uninteresting. (Sorry, Freddie.) Blah. I keep the interior clean-ish without anything enticing peeking out. Likewise the trunk space is empty. There are some maps in the door pockets and a snow brush (in June!) on the back seat floor.

Freddie Ford now sits patiently in a Wednesday side of the street space, waiting for his next big adventure. I’m glad “he” is patient!

Wrecked on Broadway

Wrecked Camry in the Bronx on Broadway

Wrecked Camry in the Bronx under the 1-Train tracks on Broadway

Today’s blog comments on a scene not far from Washington Heights. I moved my car for the first time in two weeks the other day. No snow, no Alternate Side Parking. Bad news: a tire was flat. I drove slowly to the gas station and filled it with enough air to get me to the tire shop in Riverdale. Preparing for a bit of a wait, I walked down Broadway to the supermarket to get something to drink and came across this ruin.

The wreck sits under the 1-Train tracks. It has been moldering here at least since last fall, six months or so, judging from the dead leaves inside and around it. Ironically, a white police cruiser sits across the street, and two cars over is a black auxiliary police car. You would think that the police know about this eyesore and would be doing something to have it removed. I can’t fathom why it’s been here so long. The owner must be known; the front license plate is still affixed!

An intact shoe rests on the driver’s side rocker panel contrasting oddly with the condition of this wrecked Toyota Camry. How odd, I thought, my curiosity piqued. I walked around it noting the totally shattered windshield, the flayed innards, rusted metal, nightmarish wires jutting out, and the oddly unmolested back seat. I prayed that nobody was in it when it got crushed. No one could have lived through an accident that would cause this much damage.

What story could this car tell? What happened to cause this damage? And how did a lone shoe come to rest here, of all places?

Snow Removal Spectator Sport

Watching Sanitation trucks grapple with week-old snow

Watching Sanitation trucks grapple with week-old snow

Grateful I’m not in Boston. On Wednesday, a 43-foot yacht snarled downtown traffic after getting caught in a snowbank.

On Wednesday, the first Alternate Side Parking day in over a week, I watched the City Sanitation snow removal crews wrangle the boulders of icy snow that had accumulated while everyone stayed parked snugly in their spots. FOUR big trucks and a city vehicle were there to ensure that our street was as smooth as could be.

We’ve had some snow—not as much as Boston, for sure—and the city’s been in a tizzy. Alternate Side Parking was suspended for about two weeks so crews could handle snow removal. How many days did you leave your car in the same space rather than take shovel and ice choppers to free it? (Eleven, for me.)

Three plows and a salt spreader aided snow removal at one time

Three plows and a salt spreader aided snow removal at one time

When the owner of a Jeep couldn’t move it out of the way, being locked in by icy mounds, one of the guys drove it after plowing a bit around it, like a buckaroo handling a wild horse! One of the other guys shoveled chunks into the center of the road to be plowed over and spread out to melt in the sun.

Recently covered with snow chunks, Big Orange smoothed the street

Big Orange smoothed the street

I’m so thankful for the Sanitation guys. They take my trash and recycling, then attach plows to the fronts of the garbage trucks to plow. These guys, however, are the heroes of this week, since no more snowfall occurred, and they’re just cleaning up last week’s mess.

No yachts.

First Snow

The first snow fell on Bennett Avenue the day before Thanksgiving. Big, wet, gloppy clumps that turned to slush hit the cars and street. It didn’t seem cold enough to stick (it didn’t), and already, rivulets of meltwater flowed down the gutter. The weathermen predicted this would be the first snowy Thanksgiving since 1988. Hah! We were preparing for our turkey dinners and the storm-that-didn’t-come. Still, I needed to move my car – it was Alternate Side Parking day on the Wednesday side of the street. I went downstairs, saw snow on the windshield, and did my happy dance. Snow!!

The First Snow barely stuck to the car.The car looked odd, though, off balance. NO!!!!! The driver’s side mirror was missing. A glance at the street revealed black plastic smithereens and mirror shards laughing at me. The double-parking demon decided to bedevil me. Clipped again! Four times in 3 years is four times too many. Did that driver even realize what happened? Sigh.

Cleaned off the windshield, double-parked the car on the Friday side, and joined some neighbors on the front step. Though the air was frigid, we chatted and watched the snow come down and finally stop … until it was time to move our cars again.

 

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: