In my last apartment, where I lived for two years, I could not control the temperature. It was reminiscent of dorm life, except it was significantly more costly, I didn’t have a white board on my door and I didn’t have 25 types of cereal at my disposal. I swore up and down that once I could spend my night somewhere that wasn’t either 54 or 96 degrees that I would be content.

I stumbled upon the proverbial pot of gold when I found my current apartment on Craigslist. For once in my life, I can say the downturn of the economy benefited me, as the apartment would have been out of my price range a few months prior. Due to my previous living situation, I was ready to sign the lease once I saw that the apartment had a thermostat. Central air and heat? Unheard of in New York. In addition, the apartment has brand-new stainless steel appliances (including a dishwasher!), a washer and dryer and a Jacuzzi tub.

I’ve been pretty damn happy.

When I lived in Long Beach, parking could be somewhat torturous during the summer. After all, I lived across the street from the beach. And the beach I lived across from was not just any beach, but the one that the 1,000+ participant volleyball league took place at four days per week between Memorial Day and Labor Day. If you got home after 7, you would be (at best) relegated to a sand lot where you would be ticketed if you forgot to move your car by midnight. I also got my car stuck in the sand once or twice. The good part about Long Beach was, if you didn’t move your car, you could keep that spot forever. This is not the case in Queens.

When searching for the perfect image for this post, I stumbled upon one on the same topic, as this person so cleverly calls it, “the alternate side parking shuffle.” I will continue to borrow from this person’s post, as her description hits the nail right on the head – “The shuffle is a daily event that spans about an hour and half on streets all across the city. The idea is that cars vacate one side of the street, allowing the street cleaner to come through. It’s also a municipal money making machine. Every person I know who has a car gets more than a handful of street-cleaning tickets a year.”

I will start by saying that I am devoted to never getting a $40+ ticket for having my car on the wrong side of the street. I have post-it notes that I alternate on the inside of my door that read “move car at night” and “move car in morning.” I use my BlackBerry to remind myself *exactly* where my car is and when it has to be moved, just in case I forget. After two months, I was starting to think that I had the system figured out. In other words: moving your car at night is usually easier than moving your car in the morning. Avoid streets that have many driveways. As I said, I felt like I was beginning to master the system.

Then last night happened.

It took 35 minutes to find a parking spot. My car might as well be parked in Beijing.

While hiking back from my parking spot, I passed one of the many deli-bodega-corner stores in my neighborhood and invested a dollar in the lottery. Tonight, I will win Mega Millions and the first thing I will buy is a parking spot. Because that, is all it will take for me to be happy now.

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