Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Respect the Parking Chair



I have lived my whole life in the Pittsburgh suburbs, where driveways are common and parking space is more than ample. I never really saw any Pittsburgh Parking Chairs in the wild unless I was in neighborhoods closer to the city limits.

My father never used a parking chair and even now that I live in the downtown area of a small town, I’ve never had need of or really put any thought into the Parking Chair.

Three feet of snow will change that real fast."Reserved Parking" shirt from WearPittsburgh

Rarely using our garage to store one of our cars, my SUV lives in the driveway and my husband’s car lives on a side alley of the house. Come Saturday, when my husband returned home from spending the night stranded on the South Side, his parking space was buried under a mountain of snow.

Yeah, once you spend three hours digging out a space to park your car, YOU OWN THAT SPACE. Your name is proverbially on that space. You BOUGHT that space with your blood, sweat, and tears. Your literal blood from oozing blisters. Your literal sweat freezing on your brow. Your literal tears from lower back muscle spasms.

The parking chair is your way of telling people that until the snow melts, this 6 foot by 10 foot space of clear ground is yours. When you place a parking chair in that space, you’re planting your flag on uncharted land. The parking chair, regardless of what it says in the summer, during a snowstorm aftermath, says, “Behold, all ye operators of vehicles. I spent an entire afternoon excavating this spot and if ye pick up and move this chair, or nudge it even a few feet, or so much as TOUCH THIS CHAIR, there will be swift justice meted out.”

The best justice I heard was a Burgher who buried the car of the person who dared move his parking chair. This is what we call “an eye for an eye.” You take the space I dug out? You’ll need to dig for it. IT’S IN THE BIBLE.

I already knew there was a “Parking Chair” shirt over at WearPittsburgh, but there’s a lot of things I learned about the Parking Chair over the last few days.

I learned there’s a map.

I learned there’s a Wikipedia page.

I learned that some Burghers go above and beyond when it comes to reserving their excavated spaces. Reader Jennifer Ciroli says her neighbor Jeff VanderMolen has a surefire way to stop people from moving his parking chair: Photo by Jennifer Ciroli

You dare to move that setup, you might as well just walk into a stranger’s house and start rearranging their living room furniture.

IT JUST ISN’T DONE.


Have your own chair to share? Send a photo of your parking placeholder (or your wacky neighbor's) to Jonathan Wander at jwander@pittsburghmagazine.com.

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

What Are You Doing to be Like Mister Rogers on 1-4-3 Day?

Pennsylvania names May 23 as 1-4-3 Day to celebrate its favorite neighbor.

The 400-Word Review: Aladdin

Disney's live-action remake of the '90s hit stars Will Smith as the iconic Genie.

Sharing Knives Grows into Sharing Farms

For its third season, the collaborative dinner series at Ace Hotel will celebrate the region’s growers.

A Slice of Pizza Kept Sean McDowell Going in the Early Days

After 41 years in the business, the legendary rock DJ on WDVE has announced his retirement.

This New App Will Help You Track Upcoming Cicada Swarm

Follow Brood VIII, which is expected to have three species of periodical cicadas emerging from the soil as early as this month, on the Cicada Safari App.

Best Restaurants in Pittsburgh in 2019

Our annual roundup of Pittsburgh's Best Restaurants covers a lot of ground. The list of 30 includes everything from fine dining at a resort hotel to a scrappy, farm-to-table breakfast and lunch counter in Bloomfield.

This Restless Pair are Pittsburgh Restaurateurs of the Year

Together, Richard DeShantz and Tolga Sevdik of the Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group form the Pittsburgh restaurant world's most dynamic duo.

Our 50 Years: The Best Restaurants of 1999

Twenty years later, nearly everything about our best restaurants list is different. But our picks for the best of 1999 hint at the great leap forward that was on the horizon.

How Pittsburgh's Homeless Teens Escape the Mean Streets

For homeless Youth, living on the street can end up being worse than what they’re running from. Gaining their trust and guiding them to safety is a long and painful process, but local agencies are making progress.

Announcing our Scenic Photo Contest Winner

There were 682 photos submitted to our Scenic Vistas photo contest, which ran during the month of April. Art Director Chuck Beard picked a winner and two runners-up.

Braddock Brewery Brew Gentlemen Turns Five

A deliberately slow fermentation has the young brewers primed for a big expansion.

Claudy Pierre is Non Stop

The owner of Arnold’s Tea spends his time connecting communities and working to empower a new generation of Pittsburghers.

Daytripping: Enjoy Comedy History 3 Hours from Pittsburgh

The national comedy center in Jamestown, N.Y. takes the whole comedy thing kinda seriously (just kidding)

Remembering Some of Mister Rogers' Famous Houseguests

A world renowned French pantomime artist, an astronaut, a TV news anchor and a beloved chef are among the notable visitors to Mister Rogers' neighborhood.

Perspectives: Call of the Wild

Award-winning journalist Sally Wiggin explains the evolving role of zoos, including the Pittsburgh zoo, to save endangered species from extinction.