Public Garages Are Like Snowflakes
By Mark Crantz
When something momentous happens people celebrate. Weddings, births, and graduations are commemorated with celebratory champagne toasts. Recently, Lagunans celebrated their 40-year completion of the village entrance by hoisting bottles of champagne and hitting each other over their collective heads until enough brain cells were dislodged to declare their intent to rip up the brand spanking new Village Entrance and build a village parking garage, instead.
Forget the champagne. Pass me a cup of hemlock, please. I haven’t been here for the last 40 years, but this behavior makes me not want to be around for the next 40 years. Where did our community memory go? Alarm. 6:00 a.m. Get up. Get up. It’s Groundhog’s Day. Today will be new and different. Bill Murray says let’s build a garage.
This garage business hits a personal nerve. I don’t like public garages. It’s a visceral thing with me. I’ve said for years that no two garages are alike. Think about it. You would expect of all the types of public buildings erected, the garage would be most universally alike. It has only one function and that is to park cars. But I challenge anyone out there who has parked a car in a public garage to think just how different every garage is. Some swoop you up in a corkscrew on one end and down a corkscrew on the other end. Some lanes are designated one way, while the next lane goes the other way. Entrances and exits can be together or separated by the width of the structure. One thing for sure about garages is your parking experience will be unique each time you try to separate car from centric. Garages are like snowflakes. No two are alike.
Let me share a personal memorable garage experience. My third and last child got married in Chicago. I pulled into a garage close to the reception venue. I got a deja vu feeling like I had been there before. I put it out of mind and proceeded to the wedding reception to hoist a glass of champagne in congratulations. Now these family Kodak moments can be difficult due to the divorce. My ex-wife and I are civil as in civil war. Better yet, let’s just say we are like snowflakes… totally different and unlikely to melt due to the chill in the air. It didn’t stop me from toasting, toasting, and toasting some more. At the end of the lovely affair, I decided to cab it to a local hotel and retrieve the car the following morning.
At the crack of dawn I went to get the car. I noticed the exit kiosks were empty of personnel. I saw an area of automatic payment machines. They were out of order. My car and I were trapped. I proceeded to the fifth level to tell my car the bad news. On exiting the elevator, I saw a lobby in the adjoining building with automatic payment machines. Unfortunately, the doors were locked. There was a sign in the adjacent building advertising the Second City Comedy performances. Eureka, I found my deja vu. I had been here before, early on in my first marriage. It had to be a message from above. I was still trapped in it and panicked to get out. The joke was on me. I thought, oh well, life is messy. When one door (garage) closes a new door (garage) opens. But be beware of new garage doors, Lagunatics could be attached and the joke will be on you Laguna.
So with that in mind, I’ll skip a toast to the new parking garage. Jeers.
Crantz tells the Indy that he suggests the new garage have only exits.