He was pretty heavy-handed with the horn, even for a New York City taxi driver. Although not without justification: a few cars ahead of us, a someone was holding up the traffic with an amateur attempt at a parallel parking job. Anyone could see that the spot wasn’t big enough.
But hope springs eternal when you’re trying to park your car in Manhattan—SUVs become sedans, hatchbacks become shoeboxes. Parking is 90% mental and you can fit anywhere if you try hard enough.
Reality finally set in as the honking cars piled up behind the golden sedan with the pale yellow license plate. Accelerating quickly—you can give up, but not without your pride—the car drove off in hopes of finding something more realistic.
The driver of my taxi wasn’t going to let him off that easily, and serenaded the sedan with a goodbye “fuck you” with his horn. “Goddamn Jersey drivers,” he scoffed.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The parking garage on my mother’s street was one of Chelsea’s main dog treat stops in her day—we couldn’t go past the place without her getting at least one. Because of this—and, well, because I once dated one of the employees— everyone who works there knows me by name. I never come home without stopping in to say hello.
“So you like Portland?” asked Charlie, the night manager, pronouncing the name of my adopted city as “POTE-lan.”
“I do. It’s so much less uptight, more down-to-earth. Oregon is beautiful.”
Charlie was incredulous. “You don’t miss New York?”
“What’s there to miss about New York?” I shot back, although as soon as I heard myself say it, I knew I was lying.
“HA! What isn’t there to miss about New York? All you have to do is say the name and you miss it! New York. See?”