Thursday, August 18, 2011

The perks of being an obscure parker

My friend Andrew once deemed me an "obscure parker" after I chose an out-of-the-way parking spot in the lot of a Chinese restaurant. A dirth of parking skills accompanies my absence of navigational sense, so I naturally (and often by necessity) choose spaces far away from other vehicles and foot traffic (so fewer people will witness my car being as crooked as a Congressman). Since I couldn't parallel park or even back into a space if the life of my first-born was at stake (the plot of Nicholas Cage's next movie, by the way), I often find myself driving further and further away from my destination in search of a suitable and safe haven for my vehicle.
Most people will circle their target location like vultures around carrion, waiting and watching for a space as close as possible. Why? So they don't have to walk another few hundred feet? I'll let you in on a secret: the unexpected things you discover walking from obscure parking spots are often better than the destination.
Today being my twenty-second birthday, I decided to finally do some touristy St. Paul sight-seeing. Going to the Como Zoo and Conservatory during school break, when summer camps and family day trips are in full swing, was a poor life decision. However, the lack of a single parking space within almost a mile proved to be the most providential happening of the day. After chancing to discover a remote and thoroughly obscure little parking lot (belonging to the streetcar museum, of all places), I ambled through almost a mile of wide, empty green fields (the soccer camp kids had yet to arrive at that point), and along paths shaded by trees with graceful arching branches and lined by park benches, soaking in the sights and the sun. Under a stone bridge overpass, I found a message that seemed to be from the world to me.
Since I know you don't want to hear about the incredible felafel and hummus (if you're in St. Paul, Black Sea is a must for good Turkish food), salted caramel ice cream from Izzy's, or peanut butter pie I made with stale chickpeas and a barely solid banana, I'll leave you with scenes from my more photogenic birthday endeavors.

Ok, so this wasn't from today. A view of St. Paul from the steps of the cathedral

The conservatory

Yes, you may use this as your new desktop image

This puffin was giving me major side-eye.

A 300 year old tree? It must be enormous!

Under 2 feet tall. Well, that's disappointing. I don't feel so bad about what I've accomplished in 22 years now.

Ferns displayed like hunting trophies. They even kind of looked like moose.

Another sight on my walk back to my car

And yet one more benefit of obscure parking

1 comment:

Mumsy said...

What a wonderful birthday you had! Wish I could have been with you. Did you get some pretty flowers, too? :) Can I see them? :) Luv U!