Every so often, the heavens open and a perfectly ridiculous tabloid story about the ever-evolving social dynamics of New York City neighborhoods appears, as if the good Saint Jerry Seinfeld had wished it so. Case in point: A conflict in Park Slope between local residents and some guy who is really, really into protecting his hot orange Dodge Challenger.
It’s a pumpkin orange Dodge Challenger with a grill that pulses blue light and a sticker that reads “DRIVE IT LIKE YOU STOLE IT” written over the windshield. (His apparent motto: Drive It Like You Stole It, Protect It Like You Borrowed It From A Mafia Don) The owner, who the New York Post identifies as 31-year-old auto mechanic William Caraballo, uses parking cones emblazoned with “Dodge Challenger” to mark out space for the vehicle at Eight Street Near Prospect Park West. He usually keeps a tarp over the car, to prevent it from searing too much into your eyeballs/the finish from getting scratched. “In every neighborhood, I put cones around the car,” he told The Post. “I guess it draws attention to it in a way, but it also protects it…I don’t want people at night, especially if I’m at home in bed, looking through the glass to see what’s inside,” he said.
But Park Slope drivers claim that Caraballo uses the cones to stake out the space beforehand, which, in a parking spot-starved city like New York, can spark a blood feud. Quotes from residents:
“It ain’t a Bentley, weirdo,” said Anthony Anderson, 34, a neighborhood resident.
“It’s ridiculous. It’s like seat saving in the cafeteria for grade-school kids,” said Chris Mancuso, 32, who works in the area.
And, from the blog Fucked in Park Slope, which first reported on the controversy, some stellar comments:
“I like how he’s written (I mean you know the owner of this is a guy) ‘Dodge Challenger’ on all the traffic cones in case anyone is confused about what douchemobile they belong to.”
Ah, the things I could to to that car with a nice, sharp screwdriver and a quick flick of the wrist!
This means war. Though another commenter points out that in Sunset Park, where Caraballo is from, marking the borders around your car with traffic cones is apparently a common practice. Perhaps it’s just a matter of neighborhood norms clashing. Or maybe that dude needs to get over himself.