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Cars: Not just for transportation anymore

June 30, 2011

Cars 2 might be raking in the dough at the box office, but for some, cars are becoming more than a mode of transportation.

Early one morning last week I was walking up 5th Avenue (directly across from The Met) and saw a couple sleeping in their car. The woman was in the passenger’s seat curled on her side with a pillow, and the man was in the driver’s seat, titled back slightly. At first I thought they were waiting for the museum to open, but then I noticed the back windows. Pressed right up to them were their personal belongings shoved against the glass for all to see. As I kept walking – along one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Manhattan – I realized that couple was living in their car.

Then this week I passed another parked car, this one on the corner of Madison Avenue and East 64th Street (again, not a shabby neighborhood). This car stood out because of the neon yellow and red sign in the back window. As you can see in the photo, the sign is not the obnoxious “Baby on Board” variety, but a new type: “NOTARY COPY INTERNET.” It took just one look at the older man sitting in the driver’s seat, his window open, to know that he was waiting for customers. This man was doing business out of his car. And not even a nice car. Aside from it being a GEO (a car they stopped making in the 90s), the front side was dented and the tires looked bald. The license plate, from Connecticut, showed he drove all the way into Manhattan with the hopes of making a few bucks. Yet how much gas did it cost him to drive here?

With people out of jobs, they’re slowly being forced to live and work out of their cars. What’s the solution? I wish I knew, but one thing’s for sure: the state of the economy is driving some of us to incredible extremes.


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One Comment
  1. That is awful to see the economy is still in really bad shape.
    Things never got that bad in Canada. Our car industry is getting back on it’s feet now.
    I thought recently about the actual size of North America and realized how huge it is, so why is it that so many flock to certain cities? It seems extremely desperate when people are living out of their cars looking for work. I believe in Canada our wellfare system is one of the best, so much so that some choose not to work and live on wellfare (lying to government about looking for work as they get their cheques handed to them.) It seems that middle class is really dwindling in the states.
    The money should be spread out a bit better:)

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