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HELP PLEASE - Vatican Dress Code (Especially Men)

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14 hours ago, Hlitner said:

 

Ok, I have to disagree with many here including a hard working CC Host.  The issue is not what you or I think the proper dress code should be but rather the standards that the Vatican chooses to enforce.  If you do not like their rules, go somewhere else.  I think this thread is typical of an attitude that has moved through America.  It might best be summed up by saying "dress codes do not matter, I can do as I please and dress as I please and nobody will dare stop me!"   We see it on ships where men wear baseball caps (usually backwards) in the MDR...sometimes even on formal nights.   They know it is not correct but could care less because we are in the age of "do as you please"   On my last Princess Cruise (CB in August) I saw a man enter the MDR on a Gala night in a wife beater shirt and nobody stopped him.  He was a grown-up, knew he was violating the dress code, but obviously could care less because according to current standards it is OK to do whatever you please.

 

So think of the outrage.  The Vatican enforced their dress code.  My goodness, they actually expect folks to show some respect by how they dress.  I know, I know.  DW would say, "Does God care how we dress in Church?"  Perhaps not, but in this case the Pope calls the shots.

 

As to our excellent CC host's comment my only come back is that Brooklyn should stick to making Black and Whites and great pizza and leave the dress code to the Pope. Personally I do not know how Brooklyn survives without Ebinger's...but I am old school :).

 

Hank

My point exactly - their place, their rules. Agree on all the rest, especially Brooklyn.

 

[Speaking of dress code, did you ever post on the SB board? Curious about your experiences.]

 

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38 minutes ago, marazul said:

My point exactly - their place, their rules. Agree on all the rest, especially Brooklyn.

 

[Speaking of dress code, did you ever post on the SB board? Curious about your experiences.]

 

I never posted a review on that SB cruise.  But a short summary would be we really enjoyed the trip, cruise, ports, and especially our fellow passengers.  In fact, we made some friends the first day of that cruise and are meeting them for dinner next week in Italy :).  Our only complaint about the cruise had to do with the Colonade which, at best, was a mixed bag.  One very pleasant surprise was the entertainment, which was truly terrific.  I do think I ate my way through at least 2 pounds of caviar on that cruise :).  There will likely be more SB cruises in our future.

 

Hank

 

 

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Thanks so much for the updates on the entry policy! We appreciate you keeping us current as to what's happening in the Vatican. Did you enjoy the visit? What was your favorite (or was it all wonderful?) part of the experience?

 

I can't stop laughing at Hank's comments (and definitely appreciate the shout out for all the host's efforts!!) but recommend caution to anyone talking about Brooklyn: touchy subject! 😳😍🤣 I'm second generation Brooklyn, my grandpa emigrated from Ireland via Ellis Island and settled in Brooklyn, and except the time of my growing up in Queens (on the BK/QNS border) until only recently, that's where I lived too, near the Verrazzano bridge. Now it's sort of Epcot Brooklyn–what they'd build if they were creating an NYC in Epcot, but without the flavor, and by flavor I don't mean cannolis (see below). Also, they'd have a tough time finding anyone who actually WAS from Brooklyn to work in the Epcot Brooklyn (you know how in Epcot France the workers are from France?) because mostly everyone in Brooklyn now is from Ohio or Michigan or Seattle or Texas...which is fine, but they all used to go live in Manhattan. The boroughs was just the ordinary folk, immigrants and previous immigrants, mostly. And I love Disney, don't get me wrong. And progress too. I'm just worried it will get to the point where, and it's nearing it, regular folks that are required to keep regular things going (schools, buses, stores, shops, cleaning) cannot live or even commute there. And then it all falls into ruin again. But I digress....(PS: Manhattan is cheaper now, basically!)

 

Ebingers I think preceded Entenmans? This is like my father saying "remember when such and such used to be on that street?" No. I wasn't alive then. Black and Whites have made a comeback but....I don't know if they are legit: they're known as part of the retro Brooklyn/NYC food culture, and as such, it's been reclaimed as de rigeur alongside among the morning pastry selections. Egg creams aren't being whipped up everywhere but a few people make them–one place in Manhattan does, the right way. Decent pizza - don't even get me started. FYI, most of it in Manhattan is obviously not worth it unless you're positively starving. That said, there's a smattering of brick oven pizza here and there that's acceptable. I am in DUMBO a lot for meetings and see the throngs in line for Grimaldis whatever it's called, and Juliana's....I don't get waiting in line for pizza. In Brooklyn. For pizza. I almost went in recently, late one night on my way home, out of curiosity, there was no line; but on principle (and because they only accept cash, which I had but I was like, what?) I said NO. What if it's awful? And I'm sure it's overpriced. And I'm from Brooklyn. The borough of churches and pizza. There's L&B Spumoni Gardens and Totonno's and Da Vinci and more in regular Brooklyn if I need it. 

 

And yes, even in Brooklyn, you'd only ever wear the wife-beater into the pizzeria, maybe not even then if your mother saw you going out, not into church. 

If I had to guess, Pope Francis is likely overruled in modernizing things by his Cardinals or Bishops; they just won't have it. I always get the idea Francis thinks beyond the strict parameters, within reason of course, trying to avoid leaving people feeling excluded. Again, not departing too far from doctrine here; just relaxing a teeny bit. It's not about me traveling a long way to be sad and disappointed, it's lots of people. The general thought and feeling is, as Dr King said, how one acts/behaves/is far more important, the most important, beyond what they look like. If anyone is decent to be out and about in public, or at worship in their home church, why not there too. 

 

I noticed on the Spain board marazul that you particularly made mention of a loosening of rules in Spain, perhaps the relaxing of the rule hadn't been deliberate, but that it had seemed to take hold and was sticking, and that it did rather make sense (which was also around the same time as this discussion). Spain is as reverent and pious as Italy. I wondered why the point made sense on the Spain board, but not here...because it's the Vatican? The debate and topic question were virtually identical, I almost copied it into this topic but didn't, because it's a strong topic of conversation and didn't want to have to give myself a warning. 🤪 

 

It makes me feel, if anything, Rome should be where the most mercy should be granted, where the church was deemed founded–someone had brought up Peter's crucification. And anytime I hear Francis speak, I feel like that's what he's getting at; sending that message, that he is flawed, we all are, he asks for prayer. He doesn't wear the fancy robes or miter or ring or carry the gold relics. Simplicity, basics, come as you are. But then you have the Swiss Guard–great outfits by the way–definitely not simple. 

 

So...men not being recently let in because of knees being shown. Goodness. I look at pictures of ancient costumes and, I know cruisemom42 will provide context and accuracy, but men were wearing clothing for various occasions that showed knee. The leather skirt type things, togas (think maybe that wasn't for walking around and certainly all B.C.) so...not a great argument. 

 

I agree: rules are rules and necessary for order and the regular functioning for everyone to enjoy equally, things in society. What maybe I didn't express as well previously, and what we see now more and more is how places like churches or any religious house can become so much more to people than a religious house but also a place of sanctuary to people in the community, and not only exclusively to those who worship in that house. Insofar as a place of worship can be or is a museum (which has more or less been agreed upon) that generally doesn't exclude people (except for non-payment, if applicable, or lack of ordinary decorum) or as is becoming more typical, as a place of contemplation, community, education, safety, and indeed, sanctuary. 

 

Now, wearing a wife-beater into a dining room (other than Hooters or Jack-In-The-Box or a drive-thru) of pretty much any sit down place would be a huge fuhgettabouddit even in Brooklyn. I can remember a time when, in some restaurants if men weren't dressed a certain way, they'd give out jackets or ties to them to wear. Didn't seem to go over well, but I was a kid so...I don't know. Sometimes you just gotta look the other way and que sera sera. Be happy. They have to look at their own pictures!

 

I'm going to see Tony Bennett in 9 days and I plan on dressing up for the occasion even though Tony will not see me; it's Tony although Tony is older than my father, I know that when people first started going out to see Tony sing, they went out dressed proper to see Tony sing. I still may not be as well dressed as they would be back in the day, but I don't have Edith Head doing my dress so Jason Wu will just have to do. I don't think Tony probably much cares, just as I doubt Pope Francis would either. But oddly, this simple black retro-style dress is sleeveless, about hits my knees, though probably still could not get into the Vatican. It's ok. Tony isn't singing there. People don't dress up much for classical performances anymore at Lincoln Center but they dress OK; depends upon the $$ level I think. Or if one is dining before/after maybe. I think they are just glad people attend now. 

 

Well, maybe it's not bad company...Joseph and Mary were turned away trying to find a place to have Baby Jesus. Oh the irony. That would never happen in Brooklyn. 😉You come in, have some pasta fagioli and then cannolis and cappuccino (or espresso) for everyone!! 

 

Come to the new Brooklyn, Hank...you won't believe it. You can take a ferry over next time you're in Manhattan. There are still cobblestones in DUMBO, and the outsides of the old buildings, but everything else is new, new, new. Well, not the bridges. Yet. And they're still free....for now. But it's home, and I love it and it's the greatest city in the world. Go ahead razz me. I can take it, I'm from NYC. #LetsGoYankees

 

 

 

 

 

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22 hours ago, Hlitner said:

I never posted a review on that SB cruise.  But a short summary would be we really enjoyed the trip, cruise, ports, and especially our fellow passengers.  In fact, we made some friends the first day of that cruise and are meeting them for dinner next week in Italy :).  Our only complaint about the cruise had to do with the Colonade which, at best, was a mixed bag.  One very pleasant surprise was the entertainment, which was truly terrific.  I do think I ate my way through at least 2 pounds of caviar on that cruise :).  There will likely be more SB cruises in our future.

 

Hank

 

 

Glad you enjoyed it.  Maybe we will meet on one of those and deplete the caviar supply. 😉

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15 hours ago, Host Bonjour said:

 Spain is as reverent and pious as Italy. I wondered why the point made sense on the Spain board, but not here...because it's the Vatican? 🤪 

 

 

 

Neither country is very reverent or pious anymore.... 

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16 hours ago, Host Bonjour said:

 

If I had to guess, Pope Francis is likely overruled in modernizing things by his Cardinals or Bishops; they just won't have it. I always get the idea Francis thinks beyond the strict parameters, within reason of course, trying to avoid leaving people feeling excluded. Again, not departing too far from doctrine here; just relaxing a teeny bit. It's not about me traveling a long way to be sad and disappointed, it's lots of people. The general thought and feeling is, as Dr King said, how one acts/behaves/is far more important, the most important, beyond what they look like. If anyone is decent to be out and about in public, or at worship in their home church, why not there too. 

 

It makes me feel, if anything, Rome should be where the most mercy should be granted, where the church was deemed founded–someone had brought up Peter's crucification. And anytime I hear Francis speak, I feel like that's what he's getting at; sending that message, that he is flawed, we all are, he asks for prayer. He doesn't wear the fancy robes or miter or ring or carry the gold relics. Simplicity, basics, come as you are. But then you have the Swiss Guard–great outfits by the way–definitely not simple. 

 

So...men not being recently let in because of knees being shown. Goodness. I look at pictures of ancient costumes and, I know cruisemom42 will provide context and accuracy, but men were wearing clothing for various occasions that showed knee. The leather skirt type things, togas (think maybe that wasn't for walking around and certainly all B.C.) so...not a great argument. 

 

I agree: rules are rules and necessary for order and the regular functioning for everyone to enjoy equally, things in society. What maybe I didn't express as well previously, and what we see now more and more is how places like churches or any religious house can become so much more to people than a religious house but also a place of sanctuary to people in the community, and not only exclusively to those who worship in that house. Insofar as a place of worship can be or is a museum (which has more or less been agreed upon) that generally doesn't exclude people (except for non-payment, if applicable, or lack of ordinary decorum) or as is becoming more typical, as a place of contemplation, community, education, safety, and indeed, sanctuary. 

 

 

 

Sorry for editing your screed but I left the key points that I wanted to address (Brooklyn is a different matter and belongs on another board!).

 

I might be more inclined to your arguments if the 'requirements' for entry were in any way onerous. I just cannot feel that they are. I think -- and many Romans agree -- that wife-beaters and short-shorts are beach wear. Obviously one cannot (and should not try to) impose dress restrictions on an entire city. But wearing something that covers knees and shoulders and does not bare one's midriff is okay. It's not hard. They are not requiring you to wear a veil or a floor-length dress or any such thing. 

 

Also, St. Peter's basilica is not a humble church. It is a major basilica (of which there are only four). Its purpose was (and still remains) to instill in one a certain sense of awe and respect. According to historians, Pope Julius II wanted the splendor of the new basilica he built "to inspire awe in the masses".  Nowhere do piety and mercy enter the picture. That may be a good thing or a bad thing according to your lights, but there are a multitude of other churches in Rome that serve their communities well as places of aid, succor, contemplation, what have you. There is only one St. Peter's.

 

As to the ancient dress code (as I'm sure you know I can't resist), even the Pagans has a strong sense of what was appropriate and what was not. There are many existing statues and relief carvings that show how an emperor or priest should be dressed in order to approach or make an offering to a god: wearing a full-length toga -- the ancient Roman equivalent of formal or "state" dress -- and with one's head covered with one of the toga's folds. Great examples can be seen of Augustus in this mode on both the Ara Pacis in Rome and a statue of him in the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme near Termini:

 

Image result for Augustus statue Palazzo massimo

 

 

 

 

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At the risk of fanning the flames of unreason, this all comes down to the resistance of many folks to any kind of dress code.  Some will say that the trend started in the West Coast of the USA, but that is no longer relevant.  Up until recent years, dressing to some kind of code was considered a basic part of "etiquette" which was further thought of as simply showing proper respect to one's hosts and companions.  There was a time not long ago when nobody would have questioned the relatively simple dress code imposed by the Vatican on its visitors.  Now, many folks continue to push the envelope (I suppose it will end when folks feel free to walki into the Vatican, cruise ships, and good restaurants....completely nude.  After all, "if I do not feel like wearing any clothes so why should I"  will be the refrain which is similar to those who think its fine to wear wife beaters in the MDR along with their baseball caps.  Call me old fashioned but I have no problem with dress codes or adhering to some basic rules of etiquette such as men not wearing hats indoors (with a few exceptions like Sports Bars).    But I am not critical of the fashion-busters so much as the sniveling cowards that publish dress codes and then do not have the guts to enforce their own rules!

 

Hank

 

 

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3 hours ago, Hlitner said:

But I am not critical of the fashion-busters so much as the sniveling cowards that publish dress codes and then do not have the guts to enforce their own rules!

 

 

Right on, Hank!  I am in complete agreement, especially in cruise lines and restaurants.  Places like the Vatican and the Sagrada Familia can be so overwhelmed with visitors that the staff is unable to catch all noncompliant visitors.  That is unfortunate, but it does not change the rules.  


 

22 hours ago, Host Bonjour said:

The general thought and feeling is, as Dr King said, how one acts/behaves/is far more important, the most important, beyond what they look like. If anyone is decent to be out and about in public, or at worship in their home church, why not there too. 

 

It makes me feel, if anything, Rome should be where the most mercy should be granted, where the church was deemed founded– Simplicity, basics, come as you are. But then you have the Swiss Guard–great outfits by the way–definitely not simple. 

 

 

Guests should check their own hangups at the door and show respect to the hosts who open their doors to them and ask them to follow some simple dress code.  The way you dress is the way you act, and the way you act shows whether you respect others or not.  Decency in dress is in the eye of the beholder and very much subject to the circumstances.  What may be decent in "your own church" might not be decent in the church, synagogue or mosque you want to visit.  

 

The church may be trying to be more open and accepting but that does not mean "come as you are" in wife beaters or bathing suits or naked.  It does not mean either that they must accept another's dress code or concept of decency in detriment of their own standards.  Many people just decide that the way "they look like" is the way others should accept and adopt, and that what they think is appropriate is what the entire world must think is appropriate.  Trying to force a change to a dress code by breaking that dress code is nonproductive and rude.  (And, yes, Host Bonjour has said that she does observe dress codes even if she dislikes them. Hopefully, everyone else would too.) 

Edited by marazul

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Personal (not really) to Host Bonjour,

 

So, now we have to put out our family's Brooklyn credentials.  DW's house (Dahlgren Place)  was taken (eminent domain) for the approach road to the Verrazano.   Half the street is still existing as they only took the side where DW lived.  And she still remembers seeing the Stockholm (cruise ship) as it returned from the famous collision with the Andrea Doria in 1956.    Her Dad took her to see the bow less vessel as she moved through Sheepshead Bay.  I am a NYC purist as I was born in Manhattan although my family lived in Flatbush at the time.    By the way, 1956 was an awful year because the Dodgers lost to the Yankees in the World Series.  Both DW's and my families were die hard Dodger fans (anything less and they would have been run out of Brooklyn).

 

Ebinger's was special and even mentioning that sacred bakery in the same sentence as Entenmanns is sacrilege 🙂.  Lots of history here on the CC boards.  Speaking of Black and Whites,  Ess-a-Bagel has the best in NYC.

 

Hank

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Bay Ridge! I had friends that lived a block from Dahlgren place (it's the one with the tudors right? So pretty, but chopped off....) and I lived less than a mile from there, as the crow flies, on the other side of the park and VA hospital, Fort Hamilton Army base. My parents are from Flatbush (I think everyone was from Flatbush) and my father talked all the time of going to the Polo grounds or Ebbetts Field. Until maybe, hmm, I'll estimate 15 years ago, there was a sports bar in Bay Ridge on 3rd Avenue called the Brooklyn Dodger, and yes, it was a fun place (now known as the Salty Dog) that had an antique fire engine inside it; I don't know why. I went there to eat and watch Ranger games (NY not Texas, all respect to Texas!) Parents went to Brooklyn Prep and Catherine McCauley HS, and of course catholic grade schools, which I did too almost all of grade school, part of high school, all of university, jesuit grad school. No one had ever heard of a St. Mel, but there is one..it was my elementary school.

 

There's a basilica on 65th street between 10th and 11th ave called Regina Pacis and John Paul II had visited too,  it's quite lovely and it was our basilica; I have one near me now but it's not as pretty–I think it's just the florescent lights, less gilded too, maybe. The one in Buffalo is gorgeous. No, I don't tour basilicas, but indeed they are awe inspiring structures–I love our St Patricks, and great places to take time to....contemplate, reflect, meditate, when mass is not in progress and if the doors aren't locked, which mostly they are but they kind of have to be now. 

 

What a gorgeous sculpture. When I see work like that...well, I am glad it is near Termini so everyone can see it. It reminds me of a sculpture I photographed in the d'Orsay, with detail so beautiful, I couldn't move away from it for awhile. Breathtaking. Interesting about the pagans too, but I wouldn't presume to think they did or didn't dress a certain way because they were pagans, they probably had a tough enough time being pagans. It's easy to pre-judge and requires self checking to ensure one doesn't slip into it when an area arises in which one isn't adequately informed or, perhaps where pre-conceived ideas might precede judgement. And different groups have different style of dress for different reasons or occasions, none of which I am experienced enough to speak on! So interesting of course. 

 

And I hear the very significant, relevant points everyone has raised, especially as it goes to reverence and standards, all of which I understand and acknowledge and value the merits of, none more so than the value of humility. I guess I wonder though, if the meaning or objective of humility doesn't get lost sometime...the point of it, or where it's directed. What is required to show humility? How does that differ from code of conduct? How can anyone tell the difference from the outside? What does humility or having awe/reverence have in common with physical appearance? Truth is truth. It's not always easy to ascertain truth, it certainly cannot be ascertained or certified based on appearance or an item of clothing, although rituals and comfort and tradition (or indeed, a type of reverence, but not the only type) have long defined established norms in many places, such as robes and, in some cases, wigs, in courtrooms. I hear it's been questioned lately, even the wigs. Whether it will go....who knows, and certainly isn't for me to say. 

 

And thank you for realizing that I do abide by rules 🙂 because I wasn't ever trying to suggest not abiding; society doesn't function without order and established set of generally acceptable principles. That said, things do constantly grow, evolve, progress...even religion, kings or queens, prime ministers, technology, to fit the times and correct the errors and intolerances of the past and, I don't know, just get current, stay relevant, be accessible. To everyone or as many as possible.

 

In the MDR? Oh goodness no. Standards!!!! I cannot absolutely stand when I see people wearing flip flops out to eat but I think that's because I come from this area where it's not a year round shoe thing (well, to me it's not a shoe, but a thing for...yes, the beach) and so, seeing as it's only seasonal, it never caught on as a year round shoe thing here, thank goodness. Also, I think because here we have, how do I say: not so much dirtier streets because they really do get cleaned, sidewalks and streets, but just....well, it's busier. And I can't imagine why anyone would think it's a good idea to wear flip flops in the subway but that's just me and I started riding it when it was more of a taking my life in my hands, tracks are on fire (literally) sort of prospect.

 

So if they're not bouncing people from MDR for wife-beaters (or flip flops, thank you!) to the deck to eat, then me and my big NYC mouth (not really) would have something to say. No (proper) shirt, no shoes, no service! I laughed out loud when I drove into a Georgia gas station for the first time and saw a sign like that, because I thought, it's real? When there's money changing hands, a certain level of something or other is expected. When it comes to church and the soul, I keep coming back to, and trying to keep it as low key as possible here (might be stepping boldly close to the edge) wwjd. 

 

I just scrolled up too to see if I missed anything and can't believe it didn't occur to me either, when I saw about the crowds at Sagrada Familia and St Peter's, reminded me of a year or two ago when I randomly went into St Patrick's. I had a beverage so I had to finish that before I went in but otherwise they just were checking bags, like poking inside. It wasn't super crowded but the crowds come and go. Anyway, I just realized what our primary concern is here, well everywhere, but here and has been for 18 years now: you got bombs or guns? That's it. (And apparently, beverages!) And yes, I have 0 degrees of separation to that, including a former view from the 101st floor of tower 1, but that's only part of it. Who knows, I hadn't thought of it until just now. Maybe that's why all of this to me is just....why. My first visit to Rome was less than a year after 9/11. So now we go through getting wanded, searched, showing ID, seeing long guns pretty often but...I feel pretty safe, I don't mind at all. So, it's an American cathedral but it's very beautiful, not as much history but part of the same history, frequent Papal visits, and so long as we only bring our own regular stuff, we can go in. Even for mass. 

 

Does it help if I tell you my birth sign is Taurus? 🤔 Gets me into trouble sometimes.

I truly appreciate all the thoughtful comments and conversation, it's a wonderful and interesting dialog. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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...and in case anyone was wondering, it was a requirement to take three philosophy (and three theology) courses at St. John's University in Queens, NY, not to mention public speaking. And yes, of course, St. John's was founded in Brooklyn on Schemerhorn Street by Vincentians. 😉 They eschewed possessions and devoted themselves to education but they absolutely believed in following rules and I do too. So please don't anyone cause a kerfuffle trying to push in at the Vatican, or anywhere, to make change or express disagreement. It is what it is, keep calm, and we'll see how things go.

 

I have been known to move the odd police barrier or traffic cone when seeking street parking in Manhattan (it was just there) because seriously....parking. And they ought not just leave these things about when there's nothing going on and there's a legit parking spot. Someone obviously just forgot to collect/move them; I just helped. It's totally different....is my story. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, Host Bonjour said:

I have been known to move the odd police barrier or traffic cone when seeking street parking in Manhattan (it was just there) because seriously....parking. And they ought not just leave these things about when there's nothing going on and there's a legit parking spot. Someone obviously just forgot to collect/move them; I just helped. It's totally different....is my story. 🙂

 

Well then, or should I say, allora, that’s very Italian.  Every good Italian knows when a barrier really should have been moved, and it must have just been left there by mistake.  Do you have the Italian mad parking skills that go with that, too?  Where you can fit a car into a space that’s only a couple of millimetres bigger than the car, without leaving any dents? 😁

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One of the best things I ever saw: in Tel Aviv, they had this forklift-kind of truck that would lift up offending vehicles (illegally parked, overtime, moved cones, etc.) out of the spot between the other cars and cart them away!  

 

"He who owns the house makes the rules."  Easy to live by.  If the rules of the Basilica is "covered shoulders, midriff and knee for all", just do it.  I still don't get it why people balk at this.   They aren't saying a woman has to dress like Melania and Ivanka Trump did when they visited (they reminded me of the old widow grandmother in "My Blue Heaven") or a man dress like Donald Trump in a black suit, they are just asking for modest clothing out of respect.  

 

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2019-10-16 at 12.33.41 PM.png

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Host Bonjour,

Driving (and parking) in Manhattan is something we do quite often (DW and Grandsons live in Gramercy Park) and we are used to system.  But driving to the port at Red Hook (and getting out of that place) was a challenge which is why I suspect that parking lot at Red Hook is generally pretty empty.  We recently did drive (and park) at that port and once I returned home toasted myself with a nice Martini with the thought, "we did it!"

 

Hank

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On 10/16/2019 at 5:53 AM, lisiamc said:

Well then, or should I say, allora, that’s very Italian.  Every good Italian knows when a barrier really should have been moved, and it must have just been left there by mistake.  Do you have the Italian mad parking skills that go with that, too?  Where you can fit a car into a space that’s only a couple of millimetres bigger than the car, without leaving any dents? 😁

 

Certamente! 

Last month I had a lapse of judgement and drove my small-ish (not small by European standards, Renault Clio for example, or Smart Car, scary small!) car to downtown Brooklyn on a Saturday (!!!) where parking is already 😳 but I finally found one tiny spot, on the LEFT side of the street; not the strong side. My car has been garaged now for three years (read: no bumper dings) unlike all previous cars, and it was about to be turned in for a new one. Pressure was on but....not one bumper touch and I had next to no space in front or back. What I didn't get so great was curb adjacent, which is fixed then by just lots of that silly wheel turning to move an inch back and forth. Ahhh, city driving. But...I was stressed I'd come out and one of those cars might have left and the person replacing them wouldn't be so adept at parking thereby dinging me. Alas, most drivers in BK on a Saturday will NOT give up a good space to go anywhere and both cars were still there when I returned hours later. (I did take every single thing out of my car and dump in the trunk. I don't care if it cost millions to live there and the city has changed. I came up in the old days 😉 ) 

 

What I observed, appreciated, and loved even more as a city driver in Italy or France (sometimes, Paris) was seeing cars sideways/diagonal in a parking spot (possibly of their own design, extra points for the effort!) perhaps half on the curb/half off, or even partly up on the sidewalk. To me, this was the ultimate in city dweller swagger/resignation, there is no space anywhere, I looked, I'm done, I need to park somewhere!! Yes, there may be a ticket, or possibly even pas de bagnol upon return but...life is all about taking chances. And finding parking in the crowded city.😎

 

In keeping with the theme of following rules (CC, clothing requirements and yes, parking rules!) I do not advocate, recommend, or encourage doing ANY of what I have written about when it comes to parking in NYC or anywhere. Read the signs carefully, it's not as daunting as it seems (I know four or five signs doesn't look easy but there's a way through it) but if it seems too much, find a parking lot or garage or...always the greatest option, use mass transit. No shame; I can't do roundabouts, I always feel like I'm on an out of control carousel, sort of like what happens in Strangers on a Train, the Hitchcock film. If you haven't seen it, imagine any carousel that basically was spinning like a top and you couldn't get off/out. "Take the third exit from the roundabout..." WHAT? It's not a motorway, it's a circle/loop/intersection. 🤔 My driving kryptonite.

 

Another time we can discuss the fights over parking spaces. 😤🤪

 

 

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