Boston: a place for friends

May 30th, 2007 · 39 comments

In her defense, Eeka says there were three to four empty spaces available in front of her house when this note was left — two of which she shoveled out herself.


FILED UNDER: Boston · excessive underlining · parking · spelling and grammar police · your/you're

39 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Paul Tomblin

    When somebody stole a parking space that I’d just finished shoveling out, I poured water all over his car so that it froze up and he couldn’t get his doors open. That’s not passive-aggressive, that’s aggressive-aggressive. His car didn’t move for days, it was great.

    May 30, 2007 at 8:04 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #2   OmegaMom

    Taking shoveled-out parking spaces is a big No-No in Chicago. Very very bad. People plant their lawn chairs in their freshly-shoveled spaces to signify that It Belongs To Someone.

    May 30, 2007 at 8:35 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #3   sirblackmaggot

    Yeah, I have to support this one too. I don’t think anybody who’s lived through a Boston winter with a car and no off-street parking could take issue with it. Frankly, I’m surprised she offered the shovel for borrowing, instead of applying it directly to the windshield of the offending car.

    (Paul: that’s awesome. that must have been the most satisfying thing ever!)

    May 30, 2007 at 9:29 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #4   Kla

    I hate this mentality about parking spots in winter. Same problem in Baltimore. But a spot on the street is not your private spot! If you don’t want to leave it up for grabs, then take the bus! Who cares if you shoveled? So did the person who came back from work and parked in your spot probably. Duh.

    May 31, 2007 at 6:42 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   dez

      There’s a huge difference between a winter in Boston and a winter in Baltimore. I highly doubt Maryland city-dwellers need to spend over an hour digging their cars out of the (literally) 4-6 foot snowbanks that plows push up against parked cars. The only problem I have with this note is that the person didn’t follow the commonly accepted Boston rule of leaving a folding chair in the newly-shoveled space.

      Apr 2, 2008 at 6:18 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #5   Terri

    Wow, Paul, that’s pathetic. How horrible is your life that you seek revenge on someone who angers you?

    May 31, 2007 at 8:19 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #6   abarclay12

    Love this note. Have you seen the book “Found” – it’s a bunch of funny, ridiculous notes people have found. You might like it. Also, check out my blog if you ever have time:

    May 31, 2007 at 11:13 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #7   joebec

    i can’t say anything. i live in MI and we’ll get in all out brawls over shoveled out parking spots.

    May 31, 2007 at 12:10 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #8   psipsina

    Kla, I guess you’ve never heard of the Labor Theory of Value. If you spent a couple of hours of backbreaking effort on that parking space, you own it by virtue of your labor.

    -Psipsina in Boston, who doesn’t even own a car

    May 31, 2007 at 12:54 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #9   Schuyler

    Boston common knowledge: you shovel a a spot, you place an item in said spot, it is yours until melting. God help you if you steal a spot from someone in the North End.

    p.s. Paul, I heart you. I will keep a gallon of water handy next winter for just such an occurrance.

    Jun 1, 2007 at 1:12 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #10   Aubrey

    Excellent blog.

    Jun 2, 2007 at 9:27 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #11   geekbaby

    I have to agree with OmegaMom, the chair is sacred. The same rule applies in Pittsburgh. God help you if you move someone’s chair.

    Jun 4, 2007 at 3:29 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #12   ethel

    Love Paul’s idea… hee hee

    Jun 5, 2007 at 10:02 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #13   Kelly

    But what if you spent hours shoveling out a parking spot, left for 5 minutes, and came home to find that someone took it? Is it acceptable to then park in a space that someone else shoveled out?

    Jun 5, 2007 at 2:56 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #14   Sam

    No Kelly,
    Bottom line is you shovel it – you own it! If of course you “save it”! However once the snow is gone, you do not own the spot till spring! No more big orange cones when there is no snow on the ground! Period! (I heart Paul)
    South Boston, MA

    Jun 8, 2007 at 9:19 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #15   hapto

    The fun thing is that as of late the DPW has been going around on trash nights, putting all manners of lawn chairs, tables, cones, grills… and othe “space savers” into the garbage truck.

    Jun 8, 2007 at 10:10 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #16   mattlach

    In Boston and suburbs it is actually illegal to reserve a parking spot after shoveling it. If you attempt to, you can be fined.

    I pretty much expect that my spot is going to get taken (usually within 10 seconds of me leaving it)

    Jun 12, 2007 at 3:41 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #17   Brie

    Must be the Irish in us, but Chicagoans and (apparently) Bostonians know the true real estate value of a parking space that’s been shoveled out. My friend parked in someone’s spot on Chgo’s west side. He came back to find himself parked in by two vans and his four tires slashed.

    There was no note, though.

    Jun 18, 2007 at 7:40 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #18   Amy

    I can totally read that phone number.

    Jun 18, 2007 at 8:09 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #19   Dangergrrl

    Wow! Who knew?! I thought streets were, you know, PUBLIC, as in “belonging to everyone.” What happens if you shovel four spots–do they all belong to you? what if I shovel out a spot, but take yours anyway–do I still own my previous spot? When you put a buck in the parking meter, leave before it expires, do you expect to come back and resume the remainder of your time? This urban parking contract is very foreign to me…

    Jun 19, 2007 at 3:14 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #20   Will

    So those in warmer climates can understand:

    It’s like if you went to a park and grilled out a nice cut of steak, but had to run to the bathroom before it was done. When you come back, there’s some asshole sitting there eating your steak. Yeah, it’s a public park, but that fucker didn’t cook it, buy it, whatever.

    Jun 21, 2007 at 12:56 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #21   Spruce Moose

    This makes me want to thank God I live in California where drifts up to two inches is considered a blizzard.

    Jun 26, 2007 at 1:20 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #22   ShortDave

    Will, that is a horrible analogy.
    A better park analogy would be if you were sitting at a picnic table, got up took all of your stuff, left and then came back 8 hours later and found somebody sitting at the table you were previously sitting at.

    Those bastards.

    Jun 29, 2007 at 4:54 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #23   ShortDave

    Holy crap.

    I apparently suck at punctuation.

    Jun 29, 2007 at 4:57 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #24   Anonymous

    those analogies are crap!

    lets say you were at a park and there was a table full of garbage, i mean food that is 2 weeks old, bugs, stains, everything. say you cleaned up the mess and as you were throwing away the last bit of garbage some dick came in his Hummer and sat down at the table. you dont do that

    Aug 31, 2007 at 2:14 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #24.1   dez

      this is the best, most fitting analogy.

      Boston, MA resident (but sold my car cuz of the parking!!!)

      Apr 2, 2008 at 6:22 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #25   Zsa

    Hours to shovel out a parking space? Come on kids, get real. Even at 6 feet of snow- it isnt going to take you hour(S). I might be West Coaster now, but my Chicago chicas can shovel a 50 foot driveway in an hour. No power required.

    Aug 31, 2007 at 4:05 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #26   Misheeâ„¢

    I just got a humor email from a friend regarding the Darwin Awards – Entry #3 made me think of this posting…

    3. A man who shoveled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his vehicle to find a woman had taken the space…understandably, he shot her.

    Sep 11, 2007 at 4:04 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #27   Whoever

    Clearly you non-Bostonians don’t get it.. Will’s analogy is dead on. You put in the work and dig out a spot, it’s yours till that snow melts. And yes, it CAN take hours to dig out.. Last year my roommate’s car was stuck for three days after a particularly nasty storm. This is not a joke up here- to illustrate, a couple years ago a friend of mine who lived in, but was not from, Southie parked in someone else’s dug-out spot. When she returned to her vehicle, all her tires had been slashed and her windows had been broken. True story. And the kicker? This was not considered unwarranted by most of her neighbors.

    The person who got that note got off waaayyy easy.

    Sep 14, 2007 at 7:03 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #28   Canthz_B

    Hey West Coasters–If you’ve never spent an hour shoveling ice and snow after a Nor’easter and almost gotten your car free only to have the city snow plow come by and sock you back in with snow and rapidly freezing slush, you cannot understand;
    anymore than the rest of us can fathom living on a fault line, where the hills slide away if it rains and the whole State catches fire if it does not, all the while ignoring the fact that the most beautiful mountains in your storybook view are active volcanoes aiming pyroclastic flows at your cul-de-sacs.

    Sep 14, 2007 at 7:34 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #28.1   =/

      Um, whaaat?
      I live in California, and I can safely say zero of those things are even relevant to my housing situation.

      Aug 13, 2008 at 4:50 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #28.2   Mishee bang

      then you don’t live in the good part of california. where are you? Modesto??

      Aug 13, 2008 at 4:52 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #29   Julie

    I live in Michigan. Yes we get some pretty heavy duty snowfalls. And I have stood outside digging for hours to get my car out, just to run to the corner store. When I get back, there is a nice clean car who took my spot. Clean because they were parked in a garage during the storm. I don’t blame the person who wrote the note at all.

    Dec 23, 2007 at 1:06 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #30   marcopuffin bang

    When foiled by a nasty, unfair trick out of my parking space, I pushed a large chocolate profiterol into the handle on the driver’s side of the offending vehicle. Would this be considered PA or just A? PS: I had just been shopping, I don’t usually carry such an arsenal.

    Team notewriter, though with reservations – why whine in a note when direct action could hit the spot so much more effectively?

    Mar 24, 2008 at 7:08 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #31   kendra

    While I do agree that it’s terribly rude to take someone’s shoveled spot when you’re aware that someone shoveled just to park there herself, I don’t understand how the offender in this situation was to know that the person was going to be coming back immediately. Is it common knowledge in Boston that a shoveled spot means someone is planning on using it asap? How long can someone shovel a spot on a public street and expect to keep it?

    Apr 16, 2008 at 12:54 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #32   Squeegy

    I think the point is ‘If you want to park, dig out your own spot.’

    May 10, 2008 at 9:15 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #33   marisee

    OH MY GOD!
    one time, someone parked in my friend’s spot at his apartment buliding.. he’d shoveled it out himself too.
    he parked somewhere else then came inside and got his shovel and buried the guys car!

    Nov 12, 2008 at 4:29 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #34   SecondSolution

    If that had been Chicago, they wouldn’t have bothered leaving a note. The car owner would have come back to find his tires slashed, window broken, and/or water poured onto the car.

    As for “How long can someone shovel a spot on a public street and expect to keep it?” I don’t know if it is the same in Boston but in Chicago people put their old crap (lawn chairs, broken furniture, boxes) in the spot they shoveled to “save” it for an indefinite amount of time, sometimes weeks.

    Mar 30, 2009 at 2:25 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #35   Can you dig it? |

    [...] Boston, a place for friends [...]

    Mar 22, 2010 at 8:31 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up


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