Friday, December 14, 2012

The Best Thing Ever

Last Saturday morning after a solid nine hours of sleep that I was very thankful for, I stretched, meditated, took a shower, and tried on another crop of shirts from Lands’ End. Besides being a period of rushing back and forth to Sunny Launderette constantly, there has also been much frenzied online shopping, which isn’t that much fun, but I’m grateful that it’s necessary. When I was employed before, it didn’t seem thrilling and fabulous, but after having been displaced, having a job seems exhilarating and remarkable, the best thing ever.

In the evening, Gen and Tom and I had dinner at Thai House on Valencia (it was OK) and saw Skyfall, which was spectacular.

On Sunday I did my cooking, and C. and I had dinner at La Santaneca.

Frustrated with the shortage of bike parking in my own building, this past Wednesday morning, I followed another cyclist into the garage at 300 California St., where there proved to be a capacious bike cage, but, as is often the case, not for just anyone. The attendant said it’s only for people who work in the building and might have given me the door code if I’d thought in time to lie. Normally, despite being a major exaggerator, I’m firmly opposed to lying, but this is one case where I would probably do it, out of desperation. I consider it a moral wrong to withhold bike parking.

I ended up underneath 350 Sansome St., where there were five potential spaces, three unoccupied. At lunchtime, clutching a list of downtown parking garages, I walked around doing reconnaissance and found another good possibility nearby, plus an excellent one three blocks away, plus I visited the garage in my own building and saw there were actually a couple of spaces still open, so maybe that will work out, after all.

At the end of the day Wednesday, I went into the building that I thought was sitting atop my bike, took the elevator to the garage, and wandered for a while in an increasing state of anxiety around the creepy, low-ceilinged, extensive maze—trapped forever in the parking garage? Did the door seal up and vanish after I came through it? It took me a while to find my bike, and before I did, an attendant raced by in someone’s car at alarming speed. This is not a pleasant place, but the bike rack is near the attendants’ booth, and there were still only three bikes there including mine.

Of course I’d thought of storming into the office of my own building and unfurling a printout of the secure bike parking ordinance, but I really wouldn’t want Takworth to hear about militant action on my part, so I’ll have to be more delicate and imposed upon myself a cooling-off period of one week during which I won’t say anything to anyone in the building office about anything.

Yesterday morning I parked in the horrible dungeon again and took the nearest elevator up to the lobby, which was not the same elevator I used after work Wednesday or yesterday to get down to the garage. Probably there are four or five street addresses involved, all told, and any number of ways to get to or from the bike rack: up or down the ramp, using the elevator in Building A or the elevator in Building B.

The attendants in the garage are ignoring me completely so far, which is good, but I’m a little worried about getting out of the garage in the morning. I’ve been taking the elevator nearest the bike rack to the lobby and exiting to the loading dock, which puts me closest to my own building, but this means passing right by the lobby guard. The fact that I then immediately leave the building must make it pretty obvious that I’m an interloper.

Alternatively, I could walk up the ramp, which would prevent any lobby security guard from seeing me directly, but it’s technically forbidden and might be noticed on a monitor, leading to a conversation that might end with my being asked not to park there. I could also use the elevator that is farther away—the same one I use to get back to my bike after work—but that is less direct and means more walking around the parking garage, where the young attendants drive as if they’re at the Indy 500: kind of dangerous.

Regardless of the garage, here is another question: If there is a rack that I can physically roll right up to, do I have as much right to use it as any motorist has to park his or her car in that garage? I called the Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) and someone called me right back and agreed to research this question.
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