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New York Stories

If New York has a reputation for unfriendliness, it is undeserved. At least, that has been my experience. Sure, driving in Manhattan can be a little competitive at times, and you would think the teeming masses of humanity flowing by couldn’t care less about you and your little problems—until you stop and look like you need help. Usually you are then only a handful of heartbeats away from someone stopping and offering a helping hand. Maybe it’s just me, however, since I look helpless on many occasions. Anyway I was the beneficiary of yet another random, senseless act of kindness last Saturday night.

I was working in the upper Seventies near Fifth Avenue. In this neighborhood, parking garages are rare and while street parking is available, it’s unusual for spaces to open up at that hour. I slid into a gap to unload, blocking a fire hydrant in the process. Between trips I noticed a space opening up, and as I was running back to move my car, I realized that the random stranger I had just passed was standing in the space to save it for me. I thanked him profusely, and he wouldn’t take anything for his trouble even though he had probably just saved me 20 minutes. When I thought about this later, I began to wonder if I am being watched over by a Parking Angel. The night of the Michael Jackson toast, I parked on 2nd Street near the Standard Tap where the street is very wide and cars park at an angle instead of parallel. That night, a Parking Angel advised me to back into the space, because police ticket cars that pull in head first. Right or wrong, I definitely didn’t get a ticket that night. With my parking problems solved, I may just give up on taking the train.

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