26 thoughts on “TLDR”

  1. I live in the city of Philly and it cant be nearly as bad as San Fran, but I encounter the exact same type of behavior in my friends and family members that live out in the suburbs and exurbs of SE PA and NJ. The parking sides are well worded that tell you the exact windows for time limits, but invariably they always get a ticket and say the city is operating a “scam”.

  2. Enjoyed both this post and the comments. Came here from the youtube video you did with Kirsten Dirksen about Bottom Up Urbanism, which was also excellent. Looking forward to reading more from you. And it might be telling of my age but I do have the attention span to read a long post, must be from all the reading I did growing up and a school teacher mother who encouraged it, so keep on writing.

  3. I think San Francisco a fun place to go – but never with a car! That ruins it, and creates literal headaches. If we must cross the Golden Gate with the car, we like to park in the free dirt lot by the bay, a little east of Fisherman’s Wharf. Then walk, ride the bus, etc.

  4. Hello, it is true, every time we have to deal with more information, and many people have transformed the WhatsApp voice and text messages into something eternal, endless, which should be a brief communication tool in something tedious and meaningless, if that we add the mail, calls …….. I prefer to live more simple

  5. Yep. I’m so happy I got rid of my car in this city. I still balk inside at the able bodied drive-to-SF-to-park friends & relatives who lose time, $ and energy with their auto, when they can get outside their auto zone and smell the roses. BTW, I take time to read 15 minutes of worthwhile substance ever day and always look forward to your posts. Thank you!

  6. I like the long form articles. That’s why I read the blog. It’s a great blog with an unique, well thought out and open-minded perspective. Please don’t lessen it by making it short form.

  7. I once parked in West Hollywood, which had notoriously large number of complicated parking time signs and where you get a ticket if you’re a minute over. Was looking at the eight parking signs trying to decipher them. Someone yelled out a window, “You can park there until 6 pm.”

    Google says average parking ticket in SF is $100 or so. That’s an expensive lesson.,

    1. The parking tickets are unpleasant, but if you park in an extra bad spot at the wrong time you get towed. That quickly turns in to a $700 ordeal and a day or two of your life you will never get back.

  8. When my kids were young we occasionally traveled to DC, where the city parking situation is like SF. Fortunately I had an aunt and uncle in the VA burbs, and my uncle was always willing to drive us to the Metro station near their home. Hard to beat the free room & parking in the burbs + free lift to the Metro + no city parking hassles.

    Literally the only time in the past 30 years that I drove into the District was on a Thanksgiving Day…and even then, we ran into the tail end of the Turkey Trot but still were able to park a block and a half from Mr. Jefferson’s Memorial.

  9. The big city I visit most often is Chicago. It’s been so much more pleasant since I quit driving all the way into town, or driving to places once I’m there. I park once, for cheap (SpotHero) or for free, and either walk, ride my folding bike, bikeshare, or take public transportation.

  10. I occasionally do work on Potrero Hill and stay in the client’s house. Back in the aughts I used to drive and park on the street; I knew enough to keep the car totally empty and less attractive to thieves. But of course one morning I walked out and a quarter window was broken out. Approximately $1 was taken out of the coin tray, nothing else was in the car.

    Now I fly and use the client’s garaged car. And look at all the sparkly broken car window glass on the side of the streets.

  11. When my wife and I got married our first apartment in Chicago was at W. Dickens and N. Clark, which is a densely populated part of southern Lincoln Park neighborhood. We were one block from a long stretch (N-S) of free on-street parking where I would park in the afternoon when driving back from my suburban job (my wife was in law school in downtown Chicago and rode the bus). It was pretty easy to park if you paid attention to the ebbs and flows of those parking areas. There were days where I had to park almost a mile north of our apartment, but the walk home was nice through the neighborhood. When out of town visitors came, I told them when to come and I would park for them. It was just easier.

    On weekends, we worked hard to never move our car.

    City living is easy if you just adjust to the circumstances. People need to live in the ‘City’ once a period of time in one’s life. I’m glad we did and my wife was born/raised in the suburbs of Detroit and I was born/raised in a small city in rural northern MI…and we both long for living in the ‘City’ once again.

    FYI – best time to visit Manhattan is on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. Free parking throughout most of the City and many residents have left the City for other places.

  12. Bloody Hell !
    I’m a carparking attendant. Free parking for me coz I work there but a 25 minute walk from the city of Sydney in an over apartmented but still old world gentrified suburb with mass airbnb & still backpackers hostels(began from cheaper times).
    So the tourists come with a car getting a reasonable deal on cool accommodation & think Australia is not overpopulated or overcrowded like all of the modern world is.
    Suddenly they find that parking is going to be rather expensive; thus without fail the school of hard knocks gives out it’s leasons one person at a time.

    1. @susmind: On my AUS visits, I don’t get a rental car until I’m on the edge of the Outback. While initially thinking I needed a car in Sydney, I quickly discovered that hotel shuttles and just plain walking were the best ways to get around downtown and experience the place!

  13. A story from the Desert Fathers: A desert hermit, dear to God and often in prayer, was joined by two angels as he walked, one on each side. He tried to pay them no attention. He did not want to be distracted from his conversation with Christ.

    “The strange thing about distractions is that they do not go away by paying them attention – but by not paying them attention. And this only happens because we are mindful of something or Someone else. ”

    We are rarely, if ever, mindful people. Just my thoughts.

  14. This is awesome, Johnny. Absolutely true. We hear from all kinds of places that we’re a society that’s in too big of a hurry but ironically no one has time to figure out what to do about it – or to read the proverbial email which would give them those answers. Most likely they suspect the truth: It would require changes in their lifestyle they aren’t motivated enough to consider right now.

    But when the question is asked, it’s something like, “Exactly how much do I have to slow down? What would it look like?” I’ve decided upon one of the traditional answers: You have to slow down enough to do things right. There’s always enough time for that.

    Busy people do the math and insist there actually isn’t enough time, but their problem is usually having too many items in their daily schedule. When one practices doing things well, automatically there is time for less of those things in each day. I’ll borrow a term and call this “natural selection”. When the dust settles all that’s left in your life will be those which you consider the most important…which is the way it’s supposed to be. The fact that some things got dropped which you wanted to keep is a sign not of poor organizational skills but of your natural limitations.

    So be a windshield tourist or get a parking spot, but don’t expect to do both. Spot on!

  15. Lately I also try to limit my posts to 500 words max. First; to save my own time. Secondly people don’t have time to invoke the attention span long posts require. I’m also on your side of the inability of most people to abandon their holy cow for some time in an urban environment. From the age of 16, most people in the US become car-junkies.

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