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Op-Ed: Be Considerate; Leave a Number

A Shliach from a small town was visiting Crown Heights to stock up on months’ worth of kosher food, only to face an urgent problem that happens well too often in our neighborhood – a problem which can be entirely avoided with a little bit on consideration.

by Anonymous

This past week I was in Crown Heights for a couple of days. As usual I had a list of errands to take care of. I arrived Sunday night and was scheduled to leave Tuesday morning. I took care of just about all my business, which included purchasing over $800 worth of Milchigs and Fleishigs to take back home, as there are no Kosher stores where I live.

Tuesday morning at 11:00am I packed all my perishables from the refrigerator and freezer into a few boxes and carried them to the front of the house. All I had to do was walk down the street to retrieve my parked car. It was at that time that I realized my car was locked in between a couple of other vehicles and a double parked car. I had no idea to whom they belonged, so I went door to door trying to find the owner but was unable to locate him. No one knew whose car it was. I tried honking my horn for close to an hour but no one arrived. There was no identification on the car to find the owner. My schedule was now derailed and my perishables were slowly defrosting in the 90 degree weather. Needless to say I was very frustrated! Finally at 12:25 the owner of the car arrived, and I asked him why he wouldn’t leave any information as to how to contact him. He looked at me as if I had come from Mars, and said “what do you mean, I’ve been doing this for 10 years!”

All I wanted was to have the owner of the car move so I could give him my legal spot. I remember thinking that if this was an important medical appointment, I had to catch a flight, or had an important business meeting, who would I call and what would I do?

May I suggest that when you choose to double park on alternate side days, please be so kind and thoughtful to leave a number on your dashboard where you can be reached, so people that have things to do, places to go and people to see, can go about their business in a peaceful way with Menuchas Hanefesh and Menuchas Haguf!

54 Comments

  • 1. A crown heightser wrote:

    Don’t worry, next week Crown Heights will empty out and there will be plenty of parking. But good luck finding a store open on Friday or Sunday…

    Reply
    • 2. cholent wrote:

      #1. Ye, the guy should have sat his his car until next week.

      #. What do stores have to do with this matter (of double parking).
      Double parking is illegal.
      Store owners have the right to make money or stay closed and not. If you know the stores are going to be closed, go in advance.
      As for double parking, I have the legal right to come and go as I please and should not be locked in by someone parked illegal.

  • 3. hopeful wrote:

    Agree. I had that happen to me, and i had to cancel my drs appointment. yes, it is very frustrating when that happens. Been there, so i know.

    Reply
  • 4. Ummm... wrote:

    This is C.H. “be so kind and thoughtful”.

    That’s how it works with alternate side parking, your host should let you know that!

    Reply
    • 5. Chaim Hershkop wrote:

      Double parking on alternate side parking days is a privilege not a right!.

      A mensch, a chossid whose a mensch goes above and beyond the letter of the law.

      Hillel teaches: “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation of this–go and study it!”

      Also, just because you were “doing it for ten years”, does not make it any more right or just.That’s an immature argument to make. Not an argument a student of Chabad (“Wisdom, Understanding, and Knowledge”) makes.

  • 8. Picaboo Shimon wrote:

    Honestly. If i had to wait more than five minutes for a double parker to move and let me out, i would cut all his tires and break his windows

    Reply
    • 9. Anonymous wrote:

      Ummm realize you’re blocked in by him and a) he won’t be able to move out. B) he’ll have a good idea ofnwho did that….

  • 10. Idea wrote:

    Yes this is c. h. and if u have smt really important going on the smart thing is to come out at 11and switch ur car… U plan ahead next time cuz this is the way it works… E1 double parks and leaves

    Reply
    • 11. Chaim Hershkop wrote:

      Your attitude stinks. Instead your comment should read…
      Wow, that’s great advice, why didn’t I ever think of that? From now on I take it upon myself to do so.

      Do Teshuva!!!

    • 12. Anonymous wrote:

      Genious if ppl are double parking then obviously there’s no where for him to park.He’s in a legal spot.

  • 13. the moral of the story wrote:

    the moral of the story is don’t come to crown heights. no good can come of it.

    Reply
    • 14. That's NOT the moral wrote:

      That’s a little bit tacky. Not to come to CH? I’m not sure what exactly you had in mind when you wrote that, but if you told that to me I’d tell you to get a life.
      Personally, I wouldn’t think of moving back to CH but it’s the Rebbe’s shchuna and it’s special.

  • 15. Honestly seems wrote:

    Like your finding someone to blame.
    You should have been up to date with alternate parking. Especially since this isn’t your first rodeo.

    Reply
    • 16. Anonymous wrote:

      You crown heightsers are so arrogant. He parked in a legal spot. Double parking is illegal for this reason. Take some logical advise for a change.

  • 17. I don't understnad wrote:

    It was an alternate side parking day. That’s what is done. The entire street is doubled parked, and people know not to park on those streets at those times if you want to leave. I understand the frustration of not knowing how it works in Brooklyn on alternate side parking times, but the double parked car did not do anything not mentchlech.

    Maybe those who have guests who have a car can let them know about it.

    – Someone who has lived in other places before living in Crown heights and loves it here!

    Reply
  • 18. safety issue wrote:

    There are some problems with leaving your phone number on your car. The biggest is a safety concern, by leaving your number on the car, there is a chance the unsuspecting vehicle owner can be lured out by a criminal and chas v’shalom be robbed or worse. It may sound a bit paranoid, but unfortunately Crown Heights is not the safest neighborhood.

    Reply
  • 20. Wrong wrote:

    About a year ago I was the one blocking blocking someone in on an alternate side day. When I got to my car, there was a a guy in a hat and jacket looking really mad. He started berating me saying how I was so inconsiderate by not leaving my number. I too looked at him as if he had just come from some other planet. Everybody in NYC knows that if you are planning on taking your car out during alternate side parking, don’t leave it in the spot!!! This meshugana even went so far as to complain to my father that I didn’t leave my number *eye roll*

    Reply
  • 21. to all negative comments wrote:

    Why blame the author??? He’s absolutely right!! It’s only mentchlich to put your # on the windshield when blocking cars, and not such a difficult thing; many people come here from out of Crown Heights – to the museum, to 770, shopping etc… not everyone knows the dynamics here and not everyone is by a ‘host’ to let them know. We need to train ourselves to think of others.

    Reply
  • 22. "this is how it works" wrote:

    You are all acting like behemos.
    It is illegal and you have no right to block someone in for hours on end. You are lucky no one calls to have you towed.

    I hope God will bless you with many towings and tickets so you will have a refuah shelaima.

    Reply
  • 23. People in crown heights wrote:

    most People in crown heights are obnoxious and it never even occurred to them to leave their telephone number.
    They are self centered and self absorbed, and couldn’t care less about their friend/neighbor, fellow Chossid/Shliach etc

    Reply
    • 24. Citizen Berel wrote:

      oh shut up people do selfish things everywhere and when life is hectic and hard and fast, people tend to be less considerate about their surroundings, it’s a lot easier to think about your 4 neighbors than it is to think about your several thousand.

      some poor guy had a sad and because the comments aren’t sufficiently self-flagellating you come in with your garbage people in crown heights shtick

      make a print out of your vile comment and put into an igros next time you ask for brocho

    • 25. Chaim Hershkop wrote:

      Citizen Berel, there are a lot of great people in Crown Heights, but reading through the comments and seeing the stinking attitude that we see, kind of or unfortunately gives credibility to the comment above.

      Instead of saying, Screw you, this is how it’s done here, a Chossid (who is taught) to go above and beyond and especially a chossid of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, who was the greatest example of Ahavas Yisrael. says, “I didn’t do this until now, but now I see what the right thing to do is, thank you for pointing this out to me”.

  • 26. 48 yr in the hood wrote:

    this story happened on montgomery [ albany -kingston ] i was there. the the arrogant person lives in flatbush and the driver lives up in new england
    i felt bad for the shliach ,
    btw i always leave my biz card in the window ..
    come guys do the right thing leave yr number ,
    you never know when the shoe is on the other foot

    Reply
  • 27. long time sufferer wrote:

    first of all ,it is illegal to double park.the cops look the other way on this dilemma.also you can write your cell # in hebrew letters.

    Reply
  • 28. Get with the program wrote:

    This is how it works in NYC. You should just be like “oops, I didn’t know that, lesson learned”. Please don’t come to our hood and lecture us cause you didn’t know how these work here.

    Reply
    • 29. Chaim Hershkop wrote:

      It’s a privilege not a right and not every neighborhood has this privilege.
      You need an attitude adjustment.

  • 31. Anonymous wrote:

    Some of the comments sound like people from Sodom R’L. “That’s how we do it around here” Big problem – easy solution leave your number if you concerned write it in Hebrew (letters.)

    Reply
  • 33. rdz wrote:

    i moved out of crown heights 8 months ago. found a nice shliach in staten island and he was very glad to have me and my family. there is no alternate side parking here.

    Reply
  • 34. Klutz Kashe wrote:

    I feel sorry for the man, but the alternate side parking drill is a hassle for everyone.

    I don’t understand though why he couldn’t turn on his engine and air conditioning so his expensive food wouldn’t perish while he waited.

    Reply
  • 35. Mendel Kohen wrote:

    It is also a custom to block people’s driveways, good luck getting out of your garage or driveway in middle of night. Especially blocking before shabbos – you ain’t going out on shabbos, right? Bt problem is, after shabbos the parker is busy at melaveh malka and not in a rush to unblock you. Good luck if you have emerg on shabbos or need to travel right after shabbos!!!

    Reply
  • 36. Mentchlikeit wrote:

    I always leave my cell number when I have to double park, but when I’m blocked people refuse to hear about leaving their numbers on the window.
    I might add that once even with my number on the window, the driver (not a Yid) did not bother calling me, but called the police who gave me a ticket.

    Reply
  • 39. Chaim Hershkop wrote:

    Some would argue (and they would be right) that NYC is a jungle. Some or unfortunately too many (as seen in the comments above), are ok in being an an animal is the jungle, this is the culture and they give in to the culture.

    This is where the Chossid shines, the great challenge of the Chossid living in the jungle, is not to be influenced by the culture but to [instead] influence the culture.

    Reply
  • 40. Is it Legal Yes or No? wrote:

    Can you Double Park on Street Cleaning Days?

    IT IS ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY ILLEGAL IN EVERY SINGLE NYC NEIGHBORHOOD TO DOUBLE PARK ON STREET CLEANING DAYS!

    Do you double park on street cleaning days? Do you realize it is illegal, a parking ticket crime punishable by a $115 orange envelope ($90 with the reduction)?
    The myth
    “I’ve been double parking on street cleaning days for years…” Or, “I was sitting in my car, double parked on the opposite side of the street waiting for the rule to change on street cleaning day, and a traffic enforcement agent walked up to me and handed me a parking ticket…How dare he/she!

    How about this one, “double parking on street cleaning days is permitted in my neighborhood.” My bags are packed!
    The sleeping crocodile

    If you walk past a sleeping crocodile 50 days in a row, is it safe to walk past the sleeping croc on the 51st day? Of course not. It’s safe to walk past the sleeping croc until the croc wakes up hungry and eats you for dinner.

    My point is this. You can double park on street cleaning days until a traffic enforcement agent decides you can’t, and gives you a parking ticket. It is as simple as that. No warning, no notice, just a $115 wake up call, and reminder double parking is illegal on street cleaning days.
    Practice Some Common Sense:

    Even had it been legal to double parking on cleaning days, there’s still the matter of common sense. If you’re neighbor forgot to move his/her car, don’t double park (directly) on the opposite side, thus blocking traffic! Leave enough space so a 25 foot truck or school bus can pass easily!!!
    You can also take an extra step by leaving your phone number on your dash so you can be reached.

    Double parking in Crown Heights on cleaning days is a courtesy and privilege. A courtesy that should not be abused!!!

    Reply
  • 42. Frustrated homeowner wrote:

    I own a house with a driveway and a garage. Why is it that the people who most frequently block my driveway at all hours without any kind of note or even ringing my doorbell to ask permission are more likely to be out of towners??!!

    Reply
  • 43. Boruch wrote:

    You guys are cursing each other out, when in truth people blocked in and people double parking are both the victims. I’ve never met someone who enjoys running out at 11am to move the car to be double parked trans then rush out again 1.5 hours later to repark it.

    The real villain is the government who absurdly inconveniences the citizens to move their cars three times a week so their traffic police can issue tickets. The streets don’t get any cleaner. They just move garbage a few feet away. It’s not a vacuum cleaner.

    Reply
  • 44. Been there wrote:

    Similar thing happened to me on my last visit to CH. I made the unfortunate mistake of parking on President St. and walking to 770. Upon returning, I was blocked in by a car which I later discovered belongs to a car rental company that uses that block as it’s parking lot. Never mind that it wasn’t an alternate side parking day or anything of the sort. Just added to my list of disappointing interactions that morning in the Sh’chuna, ensuring that I would continue to visit as infrequently as possible. Bottom line, many residents are kind and amazing people. Many others have a long way to go to make people feel that it’s Kan Tziva Hashem es Habracha, and not ch”v the opposite.

    Reply
  • 45. Still Illegal wrote:

    I agree. Double parking is illegal. Doing it for 10 years just means you haven’t been caught yet. I’d have called the cops to get your car towed. Nothing about this is mentchlich.

    Reply
  • 46. Joseph wrote:

    I litter in Crown Heights, you know why I do and am proud of it, I’ll tell you.
    We live in a jungle, look around the streets are a mess, and EVERBODY does it and I do what everybody does, plus, I’ve been doing it for years, so its ok.
    (Sarcasm, based on some of the idiotic comments above).

    Reply
  • 47. Facts Please wrote:

    Amazing people here Bashing the Author of Article whose car was illegally blocked , have you no shame he was not breaking any laws , came to the neighborhood spent a lot of money and just wanted to go home shame on you

    Reply
  • 48. gghost60 wrote:

    that is why i do not shop in the ch but shop in monsey. all the markets have parking lots. no hassle

    Reply
  • 50. Bubby wrote:

    Just because you’ve been doing something for 10 years, doesn’t make it right. And just because everyone else is double parking also doesn’t make it right. People come from out of town all the time. They can’t be expected to understand that double parking is the norm.

    Reply
  • 51. Sad wrote:

    After reading the above, I am totally shocked and
    disappointed at how callous and shallow many
    people are! No wonder children are growing up without
    any derech eretz! There is a great lack of simple
    decency towards each other! What an embarrassment!

    Reply
    • 52. Mendel Kohen wrote:

      It isn’t a lack of derech eretz, it is simply looking out for Number One. We live in a dog eat dog society where if you don’t bite you will get bitten.

  • 53. As a child in CH wrote:

    When I was growing up in CH over 25 years ago people would double park in such a way that both cars they were parked against front and back can pull out. If such a spot was unavailable you just moved on until you found such a spot. There was no ‘Hava Emina’ to park in such a way that ‘locks someone in’.

    Reply
    • 54. Mendel Kohen wrote:

      Times have changed. We are the “i” generation (iPhone, iPad etc.) – it’s all about i. Anochi – me, me, me. Who are “you”? Never heard of “you”! “You” don’t exist!

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