79. Parking Spaces

:a parking lot:

Washington, DC has had an awful lot of snow lately. Now the streets are kind of clear – some are slushy, some have a fine layer of ice, but for the most part, the city is drivable. Parking lots, however, are not.

My most frequented lot is that behind Politics and Prose and Comet Ping Pong.

:mural in the parking lot behind p&p and comet:

People go crazy in this lot, whether it’s icy or not. There are never quite enough spaces to satisfy the customers of these establishments, who tend towards impatience. Seriously, it’s an intense experience parking here.

Now the parking lot is covered in ice. I wiped out on it the other day and bruised my hip.

:not my bruise, not my hip:

In the snow and ice, parking everywhere has become that much more valuable. These little rectangles are suddenly treasures. It took me fifteen minutes to find parking by my therapist’s office today. And I had to drive into a snow bank and park illegally.

:almost like this:

Keeping a clear parking space free is also an issue in the snow nightmare.

Some people use chairs:

:chaise longue:

Some use trashcans:


This person used dead plants:

:so nice:

Whatever the issue behind parking, there can be no question that the parking space is a highly undervalued rectangle. Trying to lose weight? Park further from the mall. In a hurry? A clear space starts to feel essential. We cannot forget these oft-overlooked rectangles in the hullabaloo of the big, round world we live in.

February 12, 2010. Culture, Geography, Rectangles.


  1. Alex replied:

    So true- one of the reasons the city is going crazy in the coconut is because of the lack of parking spaces.

  2. Guancous replied:

    Chicago uses the lawn chair and pylon method. I kept city sawhorses with the flashing light in my garage. They looked official enough that no one ever took my spot.

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