On the morning I flew from JFK to Los Angeles, I noticed city workers up early in my neighborhood in Queens, drinking their coffee, already at work. Â They were removing the coin-operated parking meters from the sidewalk, rooting them out from the heavy cement as if they were tiny metallic trees, both ancient and sturdy. Â It was the end of an era. Â The city was installing the electronic parking meters that I had seen in newer cities like Seattle and Denver. Â It was a makeover I didn’t want to happen in New York, something like Robert DeNiro getting plastic surgery to look more like Justin Bieber.
A child born today will probably never see a working coin-operated parking meter, or experience the frantic search for the dropped quarter under the car seat, while the meter hungrily cries for her food like a voracious Venus flytrap.
The typewriter. The telephone booth. Â And now, the coin-operated parking meter. Â All gone.
It’s not as if anyone LIKED the coin-operated parking meter. Â We cursed her. Â We said she was a whore who demanded money for her time. Â We despised her pimp, the man in the snazzy uniform who cycled around the block, waiting to trap us as we enjoyed our relaxing coffee in a cafe.
We hated the coin-operated parking meter. Â We wished it dead. Â And soon it will be dead. Only to be replaced by a soulless machine that spits out a wafer-thin paper ticket. Â And we will miss the coin-operated parking meter
Tomorrow starts 2012. Â It is a time to start fresh. Â The writing staff at “Citizen of the Month” wishes every reader of this blog good health, happiness, and success.
But let’s also take a second to remember those who faltered during the past year, like the once mighty coin-operated parking meter. Â If only we had said “I love you” to her when she was still alive.