Drive to the (rotten) Big Apple of Arizona, if you dare

If you knew: You’d have to circle subdivision streets for up to 30 minutes for a parking space …

… would you ever leave the house?

If you knew: You might have to park 1/3 of a mile away in another subdivision, sprint across 6 lanes of traffic (no pedestrian crossings) …

… would you ever leave the house, unless forced to?

If you knew:  That your friends, family, visitors might never find a parking space … that everyone’s better off if you instruct them to park at the supermarket 1+ mile away and you’ll shuttle ’em

… would you invite anyone over?

The window of parking opportunity in the subdivision is narrow: from early morning, when residents go to work, to 3 p.m., when they begin returning.

Seemingly gold-encrusted spaces fill us F-A-S-T. By 5 and certainly by 6 p.m., good fucking luck.

La Aldea subdivision is the Big Apple of Arizona. Its dearth of spaces is as severe as New York City’s. A rotten apple, this Arizona subdivision.

I am indeed a Prisoner of Parking.

I’m new to town (just about a month!) so boy oh boy do I need to get out. Explore. Engage. Learn.

Metro Phoenix is a gargantuan city of 5+ million — and exploding in population.

There’s tons to do. Activities to engage in, craft beers to drink, people to meet, HOPEFULLY friends to make.

I may not.

Unless these engagements and such happen in time for me to get back and snag that precious parking space by 3-ish, I’m ultra-screwed.

I’ve become a recluse  even before I’ve gained any traction in the city.

Be it a beer at a pub, a gathering at a library, a dance at a spiritual center, a group playing board games, a walk in a park, I weigh each activity against the promised stress of no parking upon my return.

Especially if it’s after 11 p.m. A 1/3-mile hike from some division guaranteed.

Being a Prisoner of Love is so much easier on heart and soul than being a Prisoner of Parking. to heart and soul.

Take today, easy example. I’ve been craving a hefeweisen from a particular pub with a particular bartender whom I enjoy.

Mostly I was craving conversation with a human being.

I weighed the value of the parking space just a block away — thanks to the 3 p.m. hour. (Even then, lots of spots had filled so I was doubly lucky.)

I weighed that against the CERTAIN stress, frustration, angst, rage of driving circles and finding no space even at an early 8 or 9 p.m.

The parking space won.

No hefeweizen. No one to talk with. No engaging with civilization. No fun at all.

Just the security of having and holding a parking space for the next 19 hours … until I must lose it for an appointment.

So I ask you: If you knew you’d have to circle up to 30 minutes — in futility — would you ever leave the house?

If you knew that you might have to park 1/3 of a mile away, sprint across a busy highway, how motivated would you be to leave?

La Aldea subdivision is no place to live (unless you’ve got garage access, I don’t).

It IS a place to become a sorta Howard Hughes — an extraordinary celebrity-hermit.

He became so for no reason of La Aldea subdivision though.

Howard, if you’re up there listening, unshackle from these Mean Streets. Let me drive free let me be free, a move must be, thank you very kindly good and eccentric, sir.








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