Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Another Reason Why I do not Live in Boro Park

 The Boro Park (or Borough Park) neighborhood of Brooklyn is home to one of the highest density Jewish populations in America.  Though the community is not totally monolithic, there is a significant mentality of insularism amongst the populace.  Geographically, it is too attenuated from my law practice, and from my wife's medical practice, for us to make our home there (though we do have personal and professional occasion to venture into the neighborhood).  And with all due respect to our friends who do live in Boro Park, there is also a cultural attenuation that is no less than the geographical.

One newspaper by and for the insular religious Jewish community is Hamodia.  For all of my reservations about its editorial policies, I do choose to read it (and process the contents with due regard to such policies)  Though it does have an internet presence (don't get me started with the Rabbis' hang-ups about the internet), I read the print edition, which usually comes to me after a delay of about a week or two, after passing through a number of hands.

As with just about any other newspaper, one of the more popular features of Hamodia is its "Letters to the Editor" section.  The first letter appearing in the 1 July 2014 edition is entitled "Leave Your Contact Info," written by one "M. M."


The letter reads: 


"I live in Boro Park where it is a challenge to finding parking spaces, especially on alternate-side-parking days. It is an unwritten rule that people double park and the traffic police look away and don’t give tickets for double parking.

Today our car was blocked in and my wife had to take a car service to work.

I also double park. Once, someone who recognized my car rang my bell to complain that I was blocking him. He suggested that if I double park, I should leave a note on my dashboard indicating where I can be contacted in case the person whose car I am blocking wants to get out." ...

The letter goes on to extol the virtues of leaving contact information for the benefit of those whom you inconvenience by your double-parking.

Reading the letter at face value, one might conclude that the community is so cohesive that they have a system of social mores that facilitate amicable cooperation to successfully maximize the benefits available from a limited supply of parking spaces, much like the valet parking systems in urban parking garages.

But, having been boxed in by double parkers in Boro Park, I cannot take that view.  There is a sense of entitlement to double park.  And the double parkers are not always so prompt to move their cars when you need to get going; they have been known to take the attitude that their shopping errand should take precedence over my need to drive to my next destination on my itinerary.

When I was younger, the armamentarium in the trunk of my car (a large Pontiac Le Mans) sometimes included a sledge hammer, which I had occasion to use in the course of a not-so-lucrative manual labor business venture one summer.  If the younger version of me were boxed in by a Boro Parker with the entitlement attitude, there would be an excellent chance that the sledge hammer would be put to the use for which it was created -- smashing the culprit's windshield.  It is a small wonder that it has not happened.  My son and his friends certainly thought of it when they were boxed in by a Boro Double Parker (but decided that such measures would only further delay their departure; they just hit the horn of their car for a few minutes and the double parker eventually came to move his car).

[Now, of course, some axle grease generously applied to the door handles would be my preferred mode of retribution.  Especially if the double parker were a woman who had gone shopping for some fancy clothes.].

On the very next page of the Hamodia print edition was a reprint of Charles Krauthammer's piece "Government by Fiat," as well as an article by Eliezer Stern entitled "Lawless President Again," each noting Barack Hussein Obama's attitude that he is above the law and can do as he pleases.

The irony of the juxtaposition is not lost upon me.


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