Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Parking Community 

I've recently taken to driving in to school rather than taking the T, especially since I'm not coming from work any more. The hotel garage across the street from school accepts parking validation from school, which if you park after 5 pm drops the price from $14 to $8. Given that I don't have a T pass this month, and with the construction problems on the Orange Line (slow, crowded shuttle buses after 9:00 officially, but really after 8:45 or even 8:30 sometimes) pushing me to take the Red Line, and given that going that route would cost me $7.50 ($1.25 each way on the T, plus $5 to park at Alewife) and take me an hour to get home, I've decide it's worth the extra 50 cents to park at school and get home in under 30 minutes.

So far after classes I've validated the ticket on the way out of the building, walked over to the hotel and taken the garage elevator pretty much alone. Maybe one other person. Not last night. It was like a Red Sox game letting out. There was a mob of my classmates waiting for the elevator. When the first one came, two of us just decided to wait for the next. By the time that one came the mob had refreshed. It was quite jovial and communal, though. Clearly there's this whole parking garage subcommunity of which I was previously unaware.

As I approached my car I realized that I had neglected to get the validation stamp, so I headed back to the elevators. Just as I got to the doors, another mob disembarked. A few chuckled and asked what I forgot, and I told my tale of distracted woe. This one woman said, "Just tell them you forgot. I mean, look at us - do we look like hotel guests? We're obviously students!!! I never pay full price when I forget!"

So I went back to the Jeep and got in the long line for the ticket booths. Usually I just drive on up, but given the crowds, it took a while. I explained the situation, the guy asked for my student ID and he wrote the number on the ticket. On my way. And I've now bonded with a whole new set of classmates.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:44 PM