Nosy Parker

fried calamari at 8407 Kitchen Bar in Silver Spring, Maryland Neither my friend nor I had any change for the parking meter. We had searched for good restaurants on our respective smart phones and had settled on 8407 Kitchen Bar in Silver Spring, Maryland. Among other things, they are known for their fried calamari. The public parking garage around the corner has metered spaces that accepted payment via coins or phones.

In order to pay, I downloaded an app called ParkNOW! and entered my credit card number. To sign up, I had to buy a minimum of $10 worth of parking credits. When I put in the number of our parking space, the app began counting down from two hours. The button at the bottom of the screen read “stop parking!” I may have added the exclamation point. The urgency of “park now!” and “stop parking!” amused me and made for a fun conversation at the table.

After a delicious lunch, we returned to the car and I clicked on “stop parking!” The app recalculated my balance and told me that I still had $8.15 worth of parking credits available. My first thought was “WhatNOW?”

I looked at the list of municipalities where I could “ParkNOW!” The Maryland locations are the only ones I’m likely to visit in the foreseeable future. My next thought was to call my son and offer to pay for his parking should he decide to try one of Bethesda’s popular BBQ joints. All he has to do is call me from the garage and let me enter the number of his parking meter into my app.

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