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Tag Archives: alternate side parking

The Misadventures of an Unromantic Man

13 Jun

June 13, 2017

It was all because of New York City, really.

We’ve got alternate side parking here. That means that once a week you can’t park on one side of the street while nothing happens and they don’t clean the street and on another day you can’t park on the other side of the street while nothing happens and they don’t clean the street. They call these rules “Street Cleaning Regulations” but all they really do is regulate the police to ticket you if you don’t move your car. Then something happens.

Around here, the no-parking regulations are No Parking Thursday from 8:30 to 10:00 and on the other side of the street No Parking Friday from 8:30 to 10:00. Those are AM hours so in order to find a spot to park my car for that hour and a half I need to start looking around 4:15 AM the week before. Hey, this is Brooklyn (“Home of the New Towering Condominium Being Built in Your Neighborhood, All the Time”) so parking is tight. And when I say “tight” I mean “1,478 people fighting for 1 spot” tight. And that’s on light days.

So on this particular Thursday I got up early and, bleary-eyed and foggy of mind, I got into the elevator. I was doing pretty well, considering that I might have had as much as 45 minutes of sleep. Not only did both my sneakers match, and not only were they on my feet, but they were on the correct feet. I haven’t always accomplished that so I was off to a rollicking start. I was looking at my phone, which was off, when I entered the elevator. That was intentional. I was too thick with sleep to manage to turn on my phone but I wanted an excuse to not talk to anyone, or even make eye contact. Hey, I’m a seasoned New Yorker, I know the deal.

On the elevator I go, and yup, there was already someone in there. Did she live in the building? I don’t know. I do not care to know my neighbors. After all, they are, by and large, people. And my motto at times like that (and this) is “People? Who needs them?” Anyway, this woman I was ignoring was about as old as Carol Channing (96 years old as of this writing and, yes, alive) and very honesty looked very much like her.

Kind of like Hans Moleman in drag, no?

I will now recreate the sterling conversation we had.

ME: (nothing at all)
HER: Good morning!!!!!!
ME: (indistinct mumble resembling “grum numble”)
HER: Or maybe it’s “good day.” Do you think this will be a good day?
ME: Wha?

But there was more, too much more. This semi-mummified woman was wearing a spangley black velvet outfit, like if Swarovski designed a gym outfit for people who want to be as far from the gym as possible.  There were little glittery crystals all over it, and in her hair she wore something that I did not get much of a look at because I was still trying to concentrate on my blank cellphone screen.

There I am, trying to ignore the burning question of whether or not it will be a good day when she touched me.

Yeah, I don’t care to be touched. This goes back to an experience I had with an uncle, an old Hercules movie, and basement door that locked from the wrong side. I… I’d rather not talk about it….

Well she touched me lightly on the arm. Stroked me lightly on the arm, actually. Sensually. Flirtatiously. In a way I was stroked on the arm by a construction worker when I was 21. That’s very true, it really happened, and I… I’d rather not talk about it…

To say I was taken aback is to be very literal about it. I reflexively took a step back and thudded into the back wall of the elevator.

HER: Ha ha (stroke stroke on the arm)

Now bear in mind that I got on at the fourth floor and the trip down to the first only takes less than a minute. But it felt a whole lot longer than that.

I can’t exactly call myself a ladies man. I can’t inexactly call myself that either. But this was the second time that week that an, um, odd woman had taken interest in me. Just the other day I was walking Saarah back to her place when we passed a girl in the doorway of the house right next door. I’d seen her around once or twice before. She’s hard to miss. Imagine an elf from The Lord of The Rings. Add random green streaks and highlights to her hair, as if she had seaweed tangled in her unwashed tresses. Now get her hooked on drugs and strung out on crack. Dress her in messy and stained clothes. That’s her.

Would you believe I have a four-year graphic arts degree?

As Saarah and I passed her, she leaned over close and said hello to me. Not to us, just to me. So I said what has become my trademark: indistinct mumble resembling “grum numble”

I… I’d rather not talk about it.

 

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The Storm of 2017 that Wasn’t

11 Mar

March 11, 2017

FROM THE MR. BTR NETWORK NEWS, THIS IS A STORMTRACER SUPERWATCH SPECIAL ALERT!

Yup, that’s the way they handled NYC’s recent “snow storm.” They scared us so much the they even roused Mayor Boss DiBlassio into action. He canceled alternate side parking a full 24 hours before a single snowflake fell. It’s amazing what an unpopular Mayor facing reelection will do.

This was supposed to be a fairly short but moderately evil storm. It was going to come in fast, dump it’s load, and get out. (“That’s what she said!”) It was going to usher in gale-force winds and freezing temperatures. If you did not already have milk and bread you had better by golly rush out and get some since we were due for- hold on to your hat!- up to five inches of snow, meaning if you needed some milk you’d have to put on your boots first as you walked down the block to the bodega that seems to be on every corner here. So no, we weren’t expecting much snow, but we were warned of huge gusts of freezing wind, heavy, almost blinding snow, and periods of extreme icy conditions.

What we got was this:

Look closely. There’s some heavy frost on those windows.

And that was at the height of the storm. Later on it turned bright, sunny, and downright pleasant.

Normally there’s no point in making fun of inaccurate weather forecasts. It happens all the time. But what made this one special was watching the morning weathermen vainly and sadly cling to their forecasts. Mike Woods on FOX 5 in particular was lost and adrift. As the hours and hours went on with no snow, and he and all weathermen looking foolish, he desperately tried to come up with a reason- any reason at all, why his forecast still said 3 to 5 inches of snow and windy conditions at 8 am on a very dry and conspicuously snow-free morning. At one point he said that he could see snow on the radar but it must not be hitting the ground. The news anchors were ribbing him, he looked confused, and once again, the faith we don’t put in any weather forecast was justified. 

Before this debacle, the weatherheads were predicting an even worse storm on this coming Monday into Tuesday, with (they claimed) the possibility of a foot of snow. After this morning, the weathermen are walking it back with “the models are sketchy” and “we’ll have to wait and see.”

Good advice. 

 

 

 

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