Parking in San Francisco

Although we are country mice we do venture down to the city now and again, as we did Monday evening to meet friends for dinner. It is super uncool to arrive at a downtown San Francisco destination in a private automobile. Ambulation, Uber, skateboard, bike, even Segway would be better. But for us there isn’t a faster way to get there and back during non-commute hours so we drive. And when there’s no traffic that mostly makes sense. Mostly, of course, doesn’t include that final variable: parking.

We got to the restaurant at 7PM, pulled into Garage 1, and met the villain of our piece:

Villain: We close at 9.

Jon: OK. How much for 2 hours?

V: $25.

J: No sale.

A hundred feet south we enter Garage 2 and meet the saviour of the day:

Saviour: We close at 9.

Jon: OK. How much for 2 hours?

S: $15.

J: [thought bubble: Sold!]

S: But if you’re going to the restaurant, just park right there. [gestures at the prime spot in front of the restaurant’s entrance, marked ‘For Deliveries Only, No Parking’]

J: Thanks! [thought bubble: $0 < $15 < $25]

Not having been born yesterday I park there, and check in with the restauranteur:

Jon: That guy says I can park in front but I figured I’d check with you.

Restauranteur: Who the hell is that guy to say who parks in front of my restaurant?

J: That’s why I’m checking. So, it is OK?

R: Sure.

J: Thanks! [thought bubble: Go figure!]

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5 thoughts on “Parking in San Francisco

  1. As a Philadelphian, pretty much everything about this story is completely alien to me. (1) Parking garages that close at 9 PM, (2) Parking garages where you can actually leave after you find out how much it costs to park there, (3) Parking garages where the attendant tells you a place you can park for free, (4) driving to a downtown restaurant being uncool, (5) there being an empty loading zone parking space in front of a downtown restaurant (6) that isn’t taken up by super-expensive valets who are going to charge you $35 to park your car in either Garage 1 or Garage 2.

    Actually, the only thing that wasn’t alien was the line “Who the hell is that guy to say who parks in front of my restaurant?” That guy might have been from Philly, originally.

    1. “That guy might have been from Philly, originally.”

      I think he’s from Hunan Province, actually.

      I, however, am also from Philly and I share your bewilderment.

  2. Oh yes, and it all compounds if you have brought your doggie along for a family outing in the city and *then* try to go park in a garage for the evening — vehicles with pets are turned away…

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