MARCH (PARKING) MADNESS 2021: Here’s Our First-Round Recap to Set Up the Borough Finals!
4:24 PM EDT on March 14, 2021
We're down from the Sour 16 to the Hateful Eight!
Eight of New York's most disrespectful precincts have moved on to the next round in our annual March (Parking) Madness competition, setting up our second-round, winner-take-all (of the sidewalk) borough finals this week.
Here are the matchups (check the bracket) and how each of the eight finalists got here:
Manhattan final: 34th Precinct vs. Fifth Precinct
The 34th Precinct eked out a razor-thin, 53-percent-to 47-percent victory over its rival to the south, the 30th Precinct.
You gotta hand it to Deputy Inspector Peter Andrea — he lets his officers combat-park their personal vehicles everywhere around the upper Broadway station house.
Just look at how business owners are treated uptown by these cops — it makes it hard to imagine how any other precinct is going to defeat these boorish boys (and girls) in blue:
Meanwhile, in Lower Manhattan, the Fifth Precinct (It's Chinatown, Jack) edged out Tribeca's First Precinct in another close contest — the closest and most active of all our first-round battles. We almost had to go to paper ballots on this one, with the Fifth getting 305 votes (or 50.5 percent) and the First getting 299 votes (or 49.5 percent).
This bout not only provoked lots of voting, but also lots of comments, with readers shocked at how many cops drive to two precincts so well served by transit.
In the end, Capt. Paul Zangrilli's Fifth Precinct probably won because of the sheer preponderance of illegal parking, including one officer's car that was covered in White supremacist stickers.
We can't wait for the finals!
Queens final: 114th Precinct vs. 110th Precinct
Our Queens final is going to be one for the ages, pitting two reckless rogue commands against each other in a battle every resident of the largest borough has been demanding for years.
But how did they get here? Well, the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst had a laugher over the 115th of Jackson Heights — and we can't say we blame our readers for choosing Capt. Jonathan Cermeli's frat boys, who have turned the residential streets of the neighborhood into a chaotic junkyard.
Neighbors are so cowed by Cermeli’s legions that officers routinely park in residents’ driveways. To avoid the cops, some Elmhurst residents have pained “NO PARKING” in big letters across their homes and garages to thrwart the expansionist officers. Nothing works!
But as weak as the competition was in the first round for Cermeli's renegades, that's how tough the borough finals will be, thanks to the equally landslide victory of the 114th over the 108th in Queen's other first-round matchup.
If you want to find a station house with complete contempt for its neighbors, you'd be hard pressed to find one worse than Astoria's 114, where Capt. Ray Jenkins is so lax with enforcing basic order that cops park their personal vehicles beyond the corners, into intersections, in front of hydrants, all the way against building walls to better block the handicapped, and on the sidewalks of an already-too-narrow bridge over the Grand Central Parkway.
And for added disrespect, they leave junked cars all over the place.
Brooklyn Final: 67th Precinct vs. 88th Precinct
The 88th Precinct of Clinton Hill was a surprise 63-percent-to-37-percent winner over the 79th Precinct in Bedford-Stuyvesant, which will sound strange to neighbors of the Tompkins Avenue station house, where cops "combat-park" their private vehicles so haphazardly that people in wheelchairs or parents pushing strollers have to walk in the middle of the road.
But it was a fair fight, so hats off to Capt. Ryon Malcolm of the 88th, whose cops advance to the borough finals in a thrilling victory. The key to this win? Well, remember, this is the precinct that commandeered an entire playground from neighborhood kids.
And these are the same officers for whom it's not merely enough to park chaotically, but who have also painted their own parking lines on the Classon Avenue sidewalk at said playground — making Malcolm's troops subject to no less than four summonses: graffiti, parking on the sidewalk, endangering the welfare of a child and, of course, theft.
Even better — the personal vehicles are Mercedes-Benzes!
You don't shove your privilege in the face of the housing project residents across the street better than that!
But can the 88th win the Brooklyn final? It will have stiff competition from the other Brooklyn first-round winner: the 67th Precinct.
Over in East Flatbush, Deputy Inspector Gaby Celiba won't let his officers lose to mere sidewalk parkers — he lets his officers literally leave their garbage spilling out of a disgusting Dumpster in front of the Snyder Avenue station house, and the garbage includes office furniture and other official detritus.
And the cops over here park so badly, that neighbors install fences — in the street! — to keep the cops from stealing curbside space in front of their driveways.
Nonetheless, the 67's victory over its first-round challenger, the 70th Precinct of Midwood, was a tough fight, with the 67th earning the 55-percent-to-45-percent win.
Bronx Final: 52nd Precinct vs. 42nd Precinct
In another squeaker, the 52nd Precinct — the "pride" of Norwood — defeated its neighbor, the 46th Precinct by a vote of 56 percent to 44 percent.
How did Deputy Inspector Thomas Alps's cops do it? Well, despite having a fairly large parking lot, 52nd Precinct cops park wherever they want — including in the dedicated bus lane of the Bx41! So it's a double Vision Zero offense: the chaotic parking creates dangerous roads that also slow down bus riders.
They also park junked cars for months on the roads around the station house. We can't wait to see how Alps ups his game for the finals this week!
The 52nd is in for a tough fight against the 42nd Precinct in Melrose, which surprisingly earned a four-vote, 51-percent-to-49-percent win over the 40th Precinct in the South Bronx. We didn't think it was possible, given how notoriously disrespectful the 4-0 is to its E. 138th Street neighbors.
But our readers obviously were drawn to the 42nd (left), whose officers have commandeered a mini-park, blocked off a roadway, left junked cars in place for months and, as a chef's kiss, installed a garbage-filled Dumpster in front of the precinct house — the ultimate, "F- you" to the neighbors.
So that's how we went from a Sour 16 of NYPD scofflaws to eight borough finalists.
Please check back with us during the week to see who moves onto the regional finals!
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