Hoboken | My Black Brick

My Black Brick

Keeping a '92 Volvo 240 Wagon on the Road & Other Automotive & DIY Musings

The M3 down the block is resting on a rock

Riding my bike into the studio this Sunday morning I noticed a BMW M3 slouching at the curb. What I thought was a flat tire turned out to be no tires at all. Looks like someone pulled the rims from all 4 paws, leaving the beemer teetering on a block of wood, a cubic rock and one poor rotor. The lug nuts sat conveniently next to each empty wheel well.


Stuck Truck

Somehow this trucker managed to wedge his trailer under the train trestle at the entrance to Hoboken. This happened today a block from my studio and I shot video and photos. It’s a recycling truck that had just emptied it’s load about a 1/2 mile away. Took the tow company a couple hours to finally pull it out since it was wedged under two different tracks. Hoboken traffic was a mess with this major entry and exit route closed at rush hour.


Snowed In and Dug Out


The Great Thunder Snow Storm of Dec 2010 has covered our street with at least a foot of snow. As of Monday night our street hasn’t been plowed, 18 hours after the snow stopped. This has resulted in a 1/2 dozen idiots in CUVs thinking they can use our block as a cross-street, only to find their compact-car-based, tall,  AWD with fat street tires ain’t gonna make it through the mush. A guy in a BMW X3 caused a minor traffic jam when he got stuck with 3 cars behind him. 15 minutes of spinning and pushing and he finally started moving. 10 yards later and he was stuck again, requiring another 15 minutes of spinning and pushing. The cars behind couldn’t go backward so they sat there. A food delivery guy in an old Nissan gave up on his delivery and was chowing down on some lo mein. Once the beemer got out the Nissan was able to skate across the snow, benefiting from low weight and skinny tires.

I don’t need to drive anywhere til Wednesday but figured I’d shovel out so things don’t freeze. Above my daughters stand on a snow-drift next to my car. I had shoveled a bit the night before but there was plenty more overnight. Below is a couple hours later, with salt under the tires, a snow-berm to protect against fishtailers, and a tunnel near the front of the car so the kids can crawl through to the sidewalk.



The Last Available Parking Spot

last_spotI got yet another parking ticket in Hoboken. I parked in front of the house and thought I’d hear the street cleaner drive by in time to move. Unfortunately, the ticket writer pumped out the violation quicker than I could leap down 2 flights of stairs and run across the street. It didn’t even matter if I moved the car. For $45 they can drive the Zamboni around my Brick.

Pic from the latest Simpsons, where Lisa is overwhelmed by the disasters our future has in store for us. I’ve always felt that we could never run out of parking; someone is always leaving a spot, right?


Parking In Hoboken


I got another parking ticket from the city of Hoboken this week. It’s a bi-monthly occurance for me, as I forget the street cleaning rules every so often and wind up covering a dirty patch of asphalt on an otherwise sparkling road.

Street parking is a huge issue in Hoboken, NJ, as it is in many cities around the world. When people live in homes that are stacked atop each other there just isn’t enough square feet of street to accommodate their steel and rubber vehicles. Garages spots here go for almost $300… if you can find them. Waiting lists are years long and if you get into the notorious Robotic Parking garage you may never get your car back or it may be signifigantly damaged.

From the NY Times:

The motive is unclear. The weapon is a mystery. But what is certain is that what is being called the country’s first fully automated parking garage has already claimed two victims, most recently on Oct. 16, when the $12 million garage sent a Jeep Wrangler plummeting four stories to its demise… In February 2004, a Cadillac DeVille fell and crashed in the same garage here at 916 Garden Street.

Some people in the city take liberties with the no parking zones near intersections, but this makes the crosswalks incredibly dangerous, as you have to walk into the road and can barely see oncoming traffic. Pushing your kids across the street in a stroller becomes next to impossible when a hulking SUV blocks your vision. The Hoboken Parking Authority was recently called out on NPRs “This American Life” for inconsistent parking enforcement. Host Ira Glass interviews “Kathy”, a vigilante parking enforcer who confronts a city employee who parks in a crosswalk. I wonder if it was the employee who wrote my ticket.