Mama Deb (mamadeb) wrote,
Mama Deb


I don't own a car. A few years ago, on a very snowy day, when a friend was at the wheel and we were driving to a convention in Boston, it skidded and crashed into a guard rail. Baruch Hashem, no one was hurt at all, but Mabel, my Olds, was totaled. I think had she been under nine years old she might not have been, but as it was...

So. I have enjoyed the freedom of being carless. I don't have to worry about alternate side of the street parking, whereby residents have to make sure their cars do not inhabit a side of the street at posted times - in my old neighborhood, for three hours a day twice a week. Here, it's 90 minutes. In both cases, it's during working hours. I don't have to worry about parking my car where I work, which is almost impossible. I can take the bus or subway basically anywhere in the city, and everything I need is in walking distance, and the stores deliver. I don't need to feed meters.

If mass transit isn't an option, I can call a car service, or rent a car, depending on time and destination. While both cost money, neither cost as much as car payments and insurance would. It is, in fact, not cost effective for someone living in New York, even if she rented a car every weekend to go to New Jersey, to own a car.

My brother won't believe it. *He* owned a car when he lived in Manhattan. And he rented a garage space to pay for it, so that he didn't have to worry about alternate side. This is a car I'd probably drive no further than to change a parking space most weeks. Back in the old neighborhood, it was useful in that I could take it shopping because there were no kosher stores there. However, in the year or so between losing Mabel and moving, I found that it was perfectly simple to take mass transit to the kosher stores and, depending how much groceries I had, either taking the same mass transit back *or* taking a cab.

Yes, there are times I'd like to own a car. But then I think about how it would cost us money and time and worry, and realize that I'm better off *not*. Which my brother, for some reason, thinks is very selfish of me. At least, that's the impression I got.

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