MARCH (PARKING) MADNESS: The Final Four is Set!
Never let someone tell you that your vote doesn’t make a difference.
That’s the story of the Borough Finals round in our annual March (Parking) Madness tournament — the city’s only definitive contest to determine which NYPD precinct disrespects its neighbors the most.
This weekend, we pared the Atrocious Eight down to the Final Four. Here’s a recap on some of the closest contests we’ve seen in years.
The Bronx Final: The 52nd squeezes by the 42nd
It wouldn’t be The Bronx if we weren’t huddled over the paper ballots as polls closed. We had to do a recount before affirming our voters’ results: Yes, the 52nd Precinct (“The Neanderthals of Norwood”) defeated the 42nd Precinct (“The Monsters of Melrose”) in a three-vote triumph.
How did Deputy Inspector Thomas Alps and his officers secure the win? Our bet is that voters were most appalled by the fact that the 52nd Precinct house is a 114-year-old city landmark that cops treat like a garbage dump. Oh, and cops also treat another city landmark — the albeit less stately dedicated bus lane in front of the station house — like their own personal parking lane, too.
Here’s why the 52nd Precinct moves onto the Final Four — in three photos:
The Manhattan Final: The 34th nudges past the Fifth
In another unprecedented three-vote victory, the 34th Precinct (“The Hogs of the Heights”) moved to the Final Four over the Fifth Precinct (“The Cheats of Chinatown”). Voters didn’t leave many comments, but our guess is that the narrow victory was achieved thanks to the precinct’s attempt to harass our reporter out of covering the ongoing theft of public space undertaken daily by Deputy Inspector Peter Andrea and his officers.
As we were taking pictures to supplement our story, the officer questioned our reporter and then followed him around for 10 minutes. And when we say “followed around,” he tailed our reporter so closely that we wanted to offer the cop a breath mint.
But this victory was secured more by the disgusting display of discourtesy visited upon Washington Heights by the cops of the 34th, who are now favored to win the entire contest. Here’s how that victory was achieved in a single slideshow:
The Queens Final: The 114th surprises the 110th
In the end, the victory by the 114th Precinct (“The A-holes of Astoria”) over the 110th Precinct (“The Heist in the ‘Hurst”) was not in doubt, most likely fueled by two parallel tracks of indecency: Capt. Ray Jenkins’s troops think nothing of blocking every sidewalk surrounding the station house (making it impossible for wheelchair users to pass), and they also double- and triple-park like true borough champions. Precinct of destiny anyone?
Here’s a quick slideshow to demonstrate how the 114 made it to the Final Four:
The Brooklyn Final: The 67th cruises past the 88th
This battle wasn’t easy. After all, the 88th was coming off a singular affront to its Clinton Hill neighbors — during the pandemic, the cops here stole a playground from local kids so they (the cops) could park their personal cars.
But somehow, the 67th Precinct (“The Finaglers of Flatbush”) pulled off the upset, most likely thanks to all the garbage that Deputy Inspector Gaby Celiba’s crew leave all over the place — garbage in the form of their own squad cars blocking curb cuts, their own personal vehicles blocking sidewalks and a bus stop, wrecked cars taking up valuable curbside space, and lots of cars without plates that seem to be part of some local scam.
The chef’s kiss? Most of the cops’ illegal parking is within view of the office of local Council Member Mathieu Eugene, a lawmaker about whom we could not find a single positive article in Streetsblog. (A call to Eugene’s office was not returned, natch.)
Here’s a slideshow that typifies what it’s like to live near the 67th Precinct station house on Snyder Avenue:
As you can see, your vote matters. So stay tuned for our two Final Four matchups this week. Here’s the bracket if you’re playing at home: