Nothing says Christmas like Free Parking!

The City of Oakland will offer free parking every Saturday between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, plus Plaid Friday which is November 28, 2014. . . .

In collaboration with Oakland Grown and the Oakland Merchants Leadership Forum, the free parking is a key element of the 2014 “Shop Oakland Grown for the Holidays” campaign that highlights the wide range of shopping options in 40 neighborhood districts citywide while underscoring the importance of keeping shopping dollars local.

Free parking is a “key element” of highlighting shopping options? And this program is in collaboration with Oakland Grown, an organization that claims to be committed to Oakland’s “local economy, social well being, and unique sense of place.”

Free parking does not help a local economy, social well being, or unique sense of place. Oakland grown is a program of the Sustainable Business Alliance, but what’s sustainable about encouraging people to drive in increasingly dense urban areas?

Maybe the City of Oakland could add a rotating image of a parking lot to its website header? Instead of (soon not to be) Mayor Quan checking out the upcoming shows at The Fox, an 86 year-old Oakland landmark that actually does create a unique sense of place, we could have Lady Q hanging out in the Raiders parking lot*!

francisco-grajales-oakland-website

vs.

francisco-grajales-oakland-free-parking-vision

*To be fair, parking of that fine Raiders quality ain’t free, it costs $35. Also, the source of that image talks about how much money there is to be made from recycling all of the Miller Light cans that are left behind, and recycling is a sustainability practice, right?

Finally, though what we’re talking about in Oakland ain’t exactly parking craters, here’s some food for thought regarding what could happen if we prioritize spaces for cars over spaces for people:

Parking Craters: Scourge of American Downtowns from STREETFILMS on Vimeo.

That’s What Christmas is All About!

secret-santa

So the San Francisco Fire Fighters Local 798 are hosting a Christmas toy drive and fundraiser at the San Francisco strip club that’s best known for its mediocre $5 buffet. For the record, I went there on my birthday a few years ago and the food was worth exactly $5 (for those of y’all not keeping score, it looks like a McDonald’s meal in SF costs $8 these days).

Anyway, I guess it’s cool that a strip club is hosting a party to help firefighters help children who need toys to celebrate the birthday of Jesus. What have you done for your local titty-loving firefighters and poor kids recently?

What I don’t get though is why somebody thought it was a good idea for firefighters to post a picture of children under the statement “Look who’s cooking.”

volunteer calendar

They ain’t got enough damn parking spots

Two drivers fighting over a parking space in front of Cormondel restaurant on Division Street in downtown New Rochelle ended up in a rather awkward position with one vehicle backed up onto the hood of the other vehicle (newrochelletalk.com).

As stated by Donald Shoup:

Automobile dependency resembles addiction to smoking, and free parking is like free cigarettes. More people would get into the habit of heavy smoking if cigarettes were free, and their addiction would be hard to break even if the subsidies for smoking were removed.

The 10 Most Awesomely Insane Jack Chick Mini-Comics

francisco-grajales-jack-chick-comic

I’ve recently become interested in the Chick Tract mini-comics and found this great review of The 10 Most Awesomely Insane Jack Chick Mini-Comics. My favorite quote: “It is a known fact that if you love Jesus, you are rewarded with basic depth perception.”

I actually ordered the variety pack of over 100 different mini-comis for  $23! I feel a little awkward about giving my dollars to this organization, but I couldn’t help it. As they say on the website,  “the cartoons grab the reader’s attention,” and they have certainly grabbed mine. I think I’ll keep a running list of all the different things I should stay away from to avoid being sent to hell.