Mr. Pylon Saves the Day

Pylon.jpg We have a pylon in our living room. Don’t ask. My roomate picked it up last winter, and it’s been residing on our tiki bar ever since. This comes in handy sometimes when the parking spot outside the building opens up, because we can “hold” the space with the pylon for a few minutes if someone has a car to be put in it. It hasn’t been as tough to park in Venice lately as it was all summer, but with two trendy bars almost across the street, it can still be difficult to find a spot near my apartment.

Tonight, there were two spots, almost twenty feet of glorious space, in front of our door. I took one for my car. Then I thought I’d try holding the other spot for the boyfriend, due in from his home in Pasadena in time for Jericho. So I put the pylon in the spot. I figured it was worth a shot, even if someone figured out that there was no good reason for a pylon to be there, and moved it out of the way for their vehicle.

But sure enough though, two hours later, when the boyfriend made it to Venice, the pylon was still there, in an empty parking spot. Perhaps it was a bit selfish, to hog a spot like that for a non-resident, but I had to try it, just to find out if a random pylon (specifically, a pylon with a flamboyant 20s mustache and bowtie drawn on it in Sharpie pen) could convince people not to park. Maybe it wouldn’t have worked in higher demand parking areas (there’s often one or two street parking spots on my block), but it did. Never underestimate the symbolism and authority of a pylon!

12 thoughts on “Mr. Pylon Saves the Day”

  1. i think of them that way too. but i think it’s because Caltrans must be doing a good job with the indoctrination because i saw the image and thought “slow for the cone zone!”

  2. Hmm I guess you’ve never had me looking for a parking spot…

    in Koreatown I’ve seen people drive RIGHT over them and stay there and do their business.

  3. I gotta go with it’s way rude to hold a space like that. But then, I’m also opposed to the Chicago policy of “dibs” where people will hold (for days) parking spaces on the street which they’ve shoveled out.

    Not enough parking needs to lead to one of two consequences: More parking or fewer cars. What you did gives the opposite of both.

  4. It’s not something I’d ever do regularly – just a one-time thing to see if I COULD do it. Especially since I know it’s residents in my neighborhood these days – not tourists. Call it an experiment rather than something I’d make a habit.

  5. So in that case you’ll have no problem coming clean when you overhear one of your neighbors complaining about that so-and-so who kept a cone in a parking spot for two hours?

  6. Commonly referred to’round these parts as “traffic cones”, these are occasionally referred to as pylons.

    Jillian: Great parking “hack”! I’ve used this one before, and agree it can only be used sparingly. Also beware: those of us who are hip to it have been known to simply move the cone/pylon onto the sidewalk and park in its place on occasion. Doing event/production work, I’m probably more prone to abusing this, and have even had a couple cones stolen from me along the way! All’s fair in parking and war…

  7. Oren: Not that it’s your concern, but yes, I would happily tell my neighbors that it was my pylon, explain that it was a test to see if the yuppies going to the bars across the street fell for it, and apologize for inconveniencing them. They’d probably just be more upset that they didn’t think of it first. However, I doubt it’ll come up, because if they didn’t take the spot, it sure wasn’t because some “so and so” put a pylon there, but because they thought the City of L.A. marked the spot for a very hard-to-see reason.

    Markland: I totally expected someone would move the pylon! But I hoped no one would steal it, because ours has a face and bowtie drawn on it, and is clearly marked “MR PYLON” at the base.

  8. It never ceases to amaze me how complacent people can be. Even the most inane sign of “authority” has people driving around the block for hours.

  9. Just be aware that if you find a cone on the City streets that is marked as belonging to “Department of Transportion,” you couldbe cited for “stealing” it…. even if you’re just borrowing it. Bowtie or not.

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