There are many Upper East Side status symbols?a house account at Sette Mezo, a cultural institution named in your honor?but few compare with securing a private parking spot. Some townhouse owners grease up their poles to protect their turf, while others, like real estate developer Jerry Speyer, play a more political game to make sure their chauffeurs always have a place to idle. And in taller buildings, it's up to the doormen to shoo drivers away and make sure residents always have a clear path for pickups and drop-offs.
Not only does this infuriate Curbed readers, but it's also illegal in most cases because a "please do not block our entrance" sign does not actually mean people can't park in front of a building, no matter the address. In her NYT Appraisal column today, Christine Haughney pulled her '06 Chevy Malibu up to some posh buildings to test the staff's willingness to cooperate with the laws of this great land. The results were mixed.
Some doormen said Haughney was inconveniencing the buildings' elderly tenants by parking out front and tried to shame her into leaving, and some got even more aggressive:
The award for the best-guarded legal parking space goes to 55 East End Avenue. When the Appraisal began pulling in, a broad-shouldered doorman came out to stop the car. When the Appraisal politely asked about parking, he said that elderly people lived there and that parking was not allowed. But when the Appraisal made it clear the intent was to park in the space, the doorman lifted his metal “no parking” sign into the street to stop the car from parking. When the Appraisal explained that this was for an article, asked for his name and began snapping pictures of him, he responded hostilely with an expletive and added:
“That’s what it is.”
What cruel parents to name their child in such a way! But it wasn't all hostility during Haughney's parking experiment. The doorman at 944 Park Avenue, where apartments are going for $8.75 million to $18 million, didn't object, and he even opened up about the pressures put on him by residents to keep spaces open. Yeesh, even our Jewish mother would shed a tear after that guilt trip.
· On Upper East Side, Parking Laws Meet Parking Customs [NYT]
· Reader Rant: 1065 Park Avenue's Orange Cone of Exclusivity [Curbed]