Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pittsburgh's Parking Chairs

It's been nearly twenty years since I lived in the Pittsburgh metro area, but there are some peculiar aspects that I don't think about often until something triggers a memory or prompts a trip down memory lane.

All the central Ohio snow shoveling the last week reminded me of one such peculiarity - shoveling out a parking space, then claiming it by putting a chair in the middle of it.

It's certainly not an international symbol of ownership. It's more a claim-staking opportunity, as if to say, "Hey, yunz guys. It was slippy out here, but I dug out dis spot, so it's mine, y'hear? Split my pantz doin' it, too."

Lo and behold, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette took an in-depth look at this spot-squatting phenomena, and sad to say, fewer citizens are respecting chair placement as an acceptable way to reserve the fruits of ones snow-shoveling labor.

"No self-respecting Pittsburgher would ever move a parking chair, though there are those who have little self-respect," says Bernadette Kazmarski, an artist and writer who routinely photographs parking chairs, mostly in her hometown of Carnegie, and posts them on her blog,

How about where you are located? What's the preferred method for reserving a parking space in the winter? Is there universal respect for using an object in the space as a placeholder, or does urban Darwinism kick in?

Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Image via meryddian's photostream on flickr

1 comment:

  1. Seriously?? Chairs??...that's like calling this a community of 10 year olds..didn't think they could's an don't like fighting for a parking spot?? a place that has a freakin' garage! I'd actually love to live here for a winter and thoroughly enjoy my neighbors pulling their whiney chairs out from the undercarriage of my SUV! Thanks for your big tires appreicate it!


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