As much as I love Chicago, the one thing I hate the most is street parking. I don’t mind parallel parking, I can do it easily and it’s almost down to an art, but find a parking spot is ridiculous. In my neighborhood, there is a 4-6pm window where you can almost guarantee to find a parking spot on your first attempt. However, ever since I started to work at my new school, I’ve been throwing in 12-14 hour days. Getting home before 6pm is a reward that I often don’t get. Thus, when I turn onto my street, I immediately say my prayer: “Hail Mary, full of Grace, help me find a parking place.” Normally, within 5 minutes I would find a spot. But some nights, it’s just ridiculous.
You know how planes have to line up and be queued for landing at airports? Yeah, I have my own personal holding pattern as I drive around trying to find a parking place. First, I drive down my street praying for a spot. Nothing. Going under the EL tracks and slowing crossing Glenwood as I check the intersection for a spot. Driving pass the Heartland Cafe to Greenview, I see a gap; nope, too small. I then take a right knowing that if there is a spot Greenview, I would pass it up for chance of something slightly closer, it’s not that late yet that I’m that desperate. Right on Greenleaf and another right going south on Glenwood passing Heartland again. Nothing. Keep on going south to to Morse then two quick lefts to the other side of the EL tracks where I head north on Glenwood. Damn meters. I head north until I hit Greenleaf again, right and then drive to the alley just before Sheridan Rd. 25 mph over the first speed hump, but 10 over the 2nd. Right again and I’m back on Lunt. Wait! I see something. I hit the gas and…”You park like idiot!” I exclaim. Someone is parked where they are taking up two spots. Oh wait, and there’s that damn motorcycle that is ridden 5 times year; that’s taking up another spot. Grr. Up to Greenview and left onto Morse until I hit the other alley before Sheridan Rd. Back on Lunt. Any luck this time??? YES!
My holding pattern is pretty distinct. And yeah, I have to go through that at least 3x a week. When I do find a parking space, I finish my prayer, only properly this time.