Even with the strange new lens through which Philadelphians now view City Hall and parking, what happened over at the intersection of Broad and Market earlier this month was truly strange. After unified public outcry over apps that allow users to auction off their public parking spots, City Council responded, advancing a bill that would make it illegal to sell or reserve these spots.
In any other city, I assume that this is how things are supposed to go: Citizens see a problem, the government responds, changes are made.
But this is Philly, where pay-to-play is a time-honored tradition, and where our unique brand of parking rage and bureaucracy has earned us a reality TV show.
How did we come together over, of all things, parking? It seems that Monkey Parking and Haystack — two of the apps in question — are at the pinnacle of injustice, so clearly corrupt and backwards that even Philadelphia can’t embrace them.
With snow on the horizon and holiday shopping season in full, frenzied swing, here’s a reminder of Philly’s parking faux pas, from minor infractions to unforgivable transgressions (all of which are risky maneuvers in a city that routinely lands on Santa’s shit-list).
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I committed a grievous etiquette sin last weekend. I pulled a Halloween ghost.
Let me explain, and see if you wouldn’t have been tempted to, too.
We were invited to the wedding of a friend of our daughter Marcy. Marcy was in the wedding party, so I had gone to the wedding shower as well. I’d dutifully bought gifts for both occasions. My husband Doug and I got dressed up on a Saturday and got to the venue on time. We’ve had the happy couple over to our house for a couple of parties. We’re not close, exactly, but we like them and wish them the best.
We enjoyed the ceremony (I cried), and chatted with acquaintances and strangers at the hour-plus cocktail hour. Then we found our seats for dinner, introduced ourselves to our table-mates, and made quite enjoyable conversation with them for a couple of hours while the meal was served. It was lengthy because it was interspersed with speeches and first dances. By the time the floor was opened to general dancing, we’d been there for four-plus hours, and frankly, we were beat.
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Darn! I missed National Train Day on May 10th. But in reality I have a lot of train days. That’s because I’ve been using Amtrak frequently over the past few months. And I’m not alone: Amtrak reportedly carries 31.5 million passengers a year and if trends continue, by 2040 ridership could reach 43.5 million. And I’m pretty sure all of those passengers were on the 6:25 Northeast Regional with me last night coming home from New York.
Were you on that train? Well, you snore. And also, please, out of respect for me and all the other 31.5 million fellow passengers, I hope you follow these 10 rules of etiquette.
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To tip or not to tip? That is the question.
The answer wasn’t a difficult one for one wealthy patron of Rouge in Rittenhouse Square. Earlier this week, the anonymous eater left the wait staff a $7,000 tip on a $258 bill. Sadly, not all of us can afford to be so generous. In fact, some proprietors feel that tipping is a broken business model altogether. This was said by David Jones the proprietor of the Smoke and Water, a 155-seat restaurant located on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia. According to one report, Jones (an admitted neophyte in the hospitality industry) has increased menu prices by about 18 per cent to replace tipping and intends to pay his staff a living wage, which is a business model that is accepted around the world in places such as Japan, New Zealand, Australia and parts of Europe.
Not sure what or who to tip? Don’t worry, I’ve got all the answers for you. Just take this simple quiz.
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