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valet parkingIts Saturday night in NYC!  The options are limitless as to where you can go for eating, dancing, and entertainment.  Hmmm…where do I go?  After some momentary thought, my choice was made; the meatpacking district!  Everything is alive there!  The once industrial area has been transformed into a social networking haven.  Gourmet restaurants, chic lounges and clubs, as well as very stylish boutNYC Meatpackingiques are among the culture currently in this area.  Oh! And not to forget the sophisticated hotels, such as the Gansevoort, which towers in the center of this historic cobblestone area.  Yes! My choice was perfect for Saturday night out with some friends.  However, there was one thing I didn’t consider when planning my evening….parking!

Spice Market-Raymond McCrea Jones-New York TimesAfter circling around the area for some time, I heard someone yell, “Park it here Miss”.  I turned to look, only to see a husky man approach my car while saying “Back it up Miss! This is my spot and I am holding it for you!”.  I looked at him, a bit confused,  “What do you mean Sir?” I asked.  He responded “My name is Humphrey Miss, and I am your personal valet for tonight!”  As a true New Yorker, I questioned his intentions at first, but then I thought to myself, where else would I park?  I parked my car in the spot Humphrey had “reservedSpice Market 2-Raymond McCrea Jones-New York Times” for me and preceded to clarify further, with him, the terms of my parking arrangement.  He explained that this was “his” parking spot and it would cost me $20 to park there for the evening.  After noticing my ambivalence about the whole deal, and the fact that Humphrey was monopolizing a city parking space for his own personal gain, he gave me the option of a payment plan.  He wanted half up front and the remaining balance at the end of the evening.  “I will take care of your car Miss! Trust me!” he stressed.  I looked into his eyes and fGansevoort Hotelelt ease about the whole deal.  I agreed, “Ok!….see you later Humphrey!”  What a novel idea!

My evening was a success!  Dinner at the Spice Market, followed by the Gansevoort Rooftop Lounge for drinks, and then Kiss and Fly for great music and dancing!  By the end of the evening, I remembered my car…and Humphrey!  I weKiss and Flynt to my car where all was well…Humphrey was busy speaking to someone on the corner.  I called out his name to get his attention since we had a deal…Humphrey ran towards my car with a smile on his face and said  “Miss did you have a nice time?  Thank you for calling me because I was talking to a community politician, and you just made me look important to him, like I belong here!”  I thankKiss and Fly - 2ed him for his services, and paid him the rest of his fee. “Thank you, Humphrey, for being my personal valet this evening.  You are a smart and creative businessman!  All the best of luck to you!”  As I drove off, I thought to myself, he is a survivor in this city…only in New York!

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