An Oldsmobile with a hood held down by bungee cords rumbled into the parking garage on 14th Street. Its tires screeched as it hugged the corners and ramps and wound its way up. When the driver let the engine idle, its growl echoed all the way down to the attendant’s booth.
The woman cut the engine. The internal combustion stopped. The garage fell silent, an empty cavern once again.
Five minutes later, a tiny old woman inched along the final ramp using the guard rail as a cane. A warm wind shot up the ramp. She stopped to hold down her scarf as if she was a traveler crossing the desert.
“Have a good day Ms. Harris,” the young garage attendant called out to her when she hobbled past him. She raised her hand slightly before being swept away by the people and wind and sirens of the city.
An old Jeep Wrangler roared into the garage. Its engine growled deeply, echoing through every level just like the Oldsmobile.
The driver cut the engine, and the garage again fell silent. Minutes later, a mom trailed by two boys grabbing at their sister’s doll paraded down the ramp and off into the city.
Soon, a Nissan Leaf glided in. The electric car was sparkling, quiet and most of all, privileged. It didn’t have to drive up to find a parking spot. It had a reserved spot in front of a bright green sign that said “Electric Charging Station Only.” The stations were nothing more than a small wall-mounted box with a screen and a coiled cord.
A young man in sandals stepped out and flicked his wrist to check his watch. He walked up to the front of his car and pulled out a long black cord. He plugged his car in and checked his watch again. Slinging his backpack over his shoulder, he disappeared into the stream of people passing outside.