24 November 2009

A metered reaction.

I love downtown Dallas. I really do.

I had never really spent much time downtown, but Princess lives in a schmancy high-rise building (for only another month, SADFACE) (his new apartment is awesome, though, so I'm not complaining), so I've had plenty of opportunity to get my downtown on. And I have.

Here are the things I've discovered:

  • Everything closes at like 7:00 pm. And I have no idea why.
  • There's only one grocery store and I can't even keep a straight face while calling it that.
  • There's a distinct lack of laid back dive bars.
  • Walking everywhere you want to go is AWESOME.
  • Everything is pretty damn close to where you are.
  • The Walk/Don't Walk signs? Actually work. You don't even have to push the button like everywhere else in the DFW Metroplex. (Seriously, folks. There's just a steady "Don't Walk" hand, if you don't push the little button. In Dallas, we're serious about our cars. Please, dear pedestrians, get off the road. NOW. My personal favorite is when you push the little button, the "Walk" sign flashes up, you step off the curb, and immediately the "Don't Walk" sign is blinking at you. You must be The Flash to cross the street.)
  • Parking can be really easy if you know where to do it, however...
  • No one knows how to park at the damn meters.

Last night, Princess and I planned to watch the Titans (WOOHOO!! It was a rough start to the season boys, but it's good to see us playing football again. Let's not talk about that Patriots game, mkay?) play the Texans at a bar near his apartment. Usually he just picks me up because he's very concerned that my car will be vandalized and all my stuff will be stolen. You see, his apartment building? Has no guest parking. None. They have a parking garage, with the kookiest layout in the universe, FULL of empty parking spaces, but to get in it, you have to have the little key fob dealimajigger. You also have to have the key fob dealimajigger to get OUT of the parking garage. It's kind of a pain in the ass.

On the occasions when I do drive over to his apartment, we either to the little dance to get me into the parking garage or else I just park at a meter on the street. They're all free after 6:00 pm. The only catch is, they start up again at 7:00 am. It's not so bad really. Just means I might actually be on time for work!

Finding a meter can be tricky. Other people use them, and most of those people don't even remotely understand the concept of parking at a meter. You see...your car? Should not be in the middle of the parking meter itself. A la this:

This way, no one can park at the meter in front of yours, or possibly at the meter behind yours. Because you are taking up all the space. You can see the problem, right? With your single vehicle, you have occupied up to three free parking meters. This is about the time I curse you*.

Last night, I passed about five such vehicles. WTF people? Get it together. I even googled "How to park at a parking meter" to see if I could find a tutorial, and guess what...even google thinks you should know how to do this. So please, get in your car, drive around, note the proper technique, and employ it immediately. Thank you.

*I'm pretty sure in New York or Seattle or Boston or DC, they'd shank you. So consider yourself lucky you only had me to deal with in this scenario.

(Dear Cleveland Browns, please please get it together. You're killing me. And I love you. --Shine.)


NatalieCottrell said...

I am not the most savvy city driver ever (at least, not in the city of Dallas), but I too get pissed the eff off when people are parking like idiots at meters. Dallasites don't seem to understand the concept of only utilizing one parking spot in a lot either though, so I'm not sure why I'm surprised.

carissajaded said...

I still can't decide how I feel about downtown. I live in the Plano area, and have not spent a ton of time in "down town" per se, but have spent a lot of time in the Deep Ellum area for comedy stuff, and the parking meter issue is prevalent there as well...

I don't understand why they haven't made more changes to the downtown area... If they improved parking, set up some vendors, and built more things people actually need (like grocery stores) folks would be a lot more apt to live there! Or at least to go to events!

restaurant refugee said...

There would be no shanking for such offenses in DC. There may or may not be a tire to change upon returning to your car.

Laura J said...

I am from Boston... and have ACTUALLY shanked someone for parking like that. Just FYI :)

Butterbean said...

Lemme just say, I LOVE that illustration! OK, now, I really don't think it's just Dallas.... people park like that in Austin too. I'd much rather park in a friggin parking garage, pay an arm and a leg to get out, and have to walk two miles uphill, than park at a meter. I'm a meter hater. Perhaps you should start carrying around a shanking tool, and threaten anyone you see who's not parking right?

Meg Kathleen said...

Lucky for me Seattle no longer has parking meters. There's one thingie (that's the official name) where you can pay and it prints out a ticket you stick to your window. Dallas needs to get with the times!

Graygrrrl said...

People the world over have never learned to park or drive. You might get shanked in Boston, but you're just as soon to shank someone who can't figure out what those distracting white lines in the road mean as you are over meters. Seriously Boston, I love ya but come on.
The 1st time I tried to drive downtown I went the wrong way on a one way street three times. Well, almost 3 times. The last one doesn't count as I almost turned into a police car which indicated to me not to turn that way.
PS- There's a grocery store there? where??