recently my husband and i went to the dmv to register our car. yes, we now own a car in nyc.
back story: we moved into our co-op in the lower east side in 2002. when we moved in, our management office suggested we sign up for the car parking waiting list. they said it would take 10 years. really, 10 years? over the years when we needed a car we rented it. we had accounts at hertz connect and zipcar. we’d rent a car for a few weeks in the summer to drive to illinois. in recent years we found ourselves needing a car more: my husband likes to camp and i heart pennsylvania. if we had the time/inclination/money we rented a car.
middle story: we checked the updated parking waiting list posted by the mailboxes. i think we started at #300-something. each year we slowly made our way up the list. by the beginning of 2012 we were at about #50, by fall in the 20’s. in early december, we got the call (#15). there was a parking spot for us. my dad kept his old car for us for when the time came (thank you, dad). we bought it from him and signed up for the parking spot. dear husband and gr2 flew to chicago to pick up the car and drove it back during our holiday break.
front story: we’ve taken the car out a few times. my husband mainly drives, but i drove from the meat packing district on the west side to our place a couple weeks ago. i did it! i drove in the city. the kids and my husband were proud of me.
having a car in the city is a luxury. we wouldn’t have gotten a car if we had to park on the street. street parking is a city sport–street cleaning, alternate side parking, holidays, monday-friday 8-9:30am no parking, tuesday-thursday 8-9:30am no parking… who can keep up with it? not my short-term memory. i’d lose the car and forget where we parked it! i’ll get my driving legs back. i won’t stop taking the subway, bus or even walking. it’s nice to know we have another mode of transportation. and really, schlepping a family of five can get tiresome via public transportation and taxi.
on another driving related note, the dmv on 34th street was not terrible. my husband and i met up on a weekday, late morning and it was totally do-able. we had to register our car and get plates. i was prepared for an all day affair. there were 25 cent pen machines (think gumball dispenser, but with pens). there were lots of agreeable people who work there to ask for help. while we sat and waited for our number, the people watching was fascinating. when our number was called we had a friendly dmv person who cracked a few jokes even. in total it took about an hour. we even had time to go to k-town for some bibimbap at wonjo on 32nd street.
keep an eye out for me on the street. i’ll be the poky driver on my way to ikea in brooklyn or stew leonard’s in yonkers just because i can.