Parking | My Black Brick

My Black Brick

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

Powning your Parking

Tom Vanderbilt has a couple interesting articles on Slate about parking:

You’re Parking Wrong, on whether to back into a shopping lot parking slot or not.

The Ethics of Winter Dibs Parking, about reserving parking on snowy streets.


Snow Block Brick

This is how I found my car on Wednesday morning. It had snowed overnight and the wind up the street had formed an almost perfect rectangular cube on the roof, about 4-5″ thick. More, larger images, after the jump…



Fast & Furious: Swedish Drift

It took a moment of contemplation before diving into this little snow drift.

One week after a major snowstorm and 15-20% of the street parking in Hoboken remains under sooty iceburgs. Plowing was haphazard and there’s huge drifts next to driveways and pedestrian crossings. It makes it next to impossible to see around intersections at stop signs.

I witnessed a hit and run on Thursday. The driver of a big, red dump truck was so pissed at the slow traffic flow along Washington St. that he backed his truck into a passenger van parked in front of the local Elks lodge. The rear of the van was sticking out a bit into the lane and a Miller Lite truck was double parked across the street. This caused a pinch-point that slowed down traffic for 4-5 blocks. The guy in the dump truck kept blaring his horn, to no avail. When he finally squeezed through he stopped, hit reverse, and slowly backed into the senior-center van that was partially blocking the lane. He pushed it enough to move it, and luckily there was no one inside. He then took off, only to get stuck in the next traffic tie up. Cops drove to the scene about 10 minutes later, but I was already on a slow moving bus to downtown.

Below is a spot I managed to parallel park into in front of my place. I’d just driven 2.5 hours and was determined to fit, so I just plowed back and hoped not to clog the tail pipe with an icicle.


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.



Sure, I can fit in that spot


This is probably the smallest spot I’ve parallel parked into, and I don’t think I could go any smaller. The height of the SUV in front allowed me to tuck the bumper underneath just so. Unfortunately I couldn’t open the back hatch, but at least I could park in fron of my place and not 2 blocks away.


Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! Monster trucks at the Mall

Now I understand why people need SUVs to go to the mall. It’s so they can easily pull back and leave after they plow over the cars in the parking lot, like this skilled driver.

That’s cost you $500.


Paying for Public Street Parking


The NY Times documents efforts by some city dwellers to share information about curb-side parking spots. StreetParkNYC has an iPhone app website that allows you to announce when you’re leaving a spot. Another driver who’s in need of a spot can get info about the location for $5 and you would get a $3 kick back, with StreetParkNYC pocketing the remaining $2.

This sounds so creepy. Street parking in Hoboken, where I live, is pretty tough. It’s rare that you see an open parking space. Most of the time you have to catch someone getting in their car so you can nab the spot. I’m wondering how people would react if someone beats them to a spot they just paid $5 for. StreetPark claims their system would reduce fuel consumption and emissions, but it seems to me that it would just defer these problems to someone else.

Update: Caleb from StreetParkNYC responds in comments.


In the Eye of the Storm

After the last snow storm my black brick was speckled with so much salt it had turned white. I’m hoping this snow bank will protect from all the splatter on this high-traffic road. A fresh coat of wax makes the snow just slip off.


Orange Bumper Brick

I wonder what this guy was like driving INTO this spot.


Have you seen that one video of that parking FAIL?

videogum has a greatest-hits post featuring the 5 worst parallel parking disasters. Gabe has thankfully curated his list to only include videos that don’t have misogynistic, women-can’t-drive diatribes.