A friend called up and asked if they could borrow stuff. We said come on over, and went to open the driveway gate — to find a car parked across our driveway. We called Parking Enforcement, and then sat on our porch for the next hour listening to the sounds of Last Thursday — drivers arguing over right of way on our narrow sidestreet, even going so far as to harass the parking officer for doing his job. Fifteen minutes after the officer called the tow truck, but five minutes before it came by, the owner of the car showed up; he said he thought our driveway was "not in use," (whatever that means) and then got angry with us for calling the cops. I really hope he gets a ticket in the mail.

When our friend showed up, another car was partially blocking our driveway such that they had to go around the block and climb the curb to get in; they wound up waiting nearly an hour before they could get back out. We called Parking Enforcement again. I finally got to go to bed after midnight, listening to the sounds of drunkards arguing or laughing at the tops of their voices as they tried to remember where they parked.

This is our experience with every Last Thursday, Street Fair, or special event that happens on Alberta, especially in 'decent' weather; we either sit on our porch and police our access to the street, or we lose it. The next day we go out and find trash and bottles flung over our fence (this week — a pair of socks!).

The people in charge of these things refuse to realize that there is not enough parking in this neighborhood for what they're trying to do. We don't have enough space here for the neighborhood and the existing businesses; and every art gallery, wineseller, eaterie, and yoga place where you can sweat your privileged ass off just increases the pressure, while every event turns the side streets into a pressure cooker full of white upper middle class yuppies from other neighborhoods who feel we should grovel at them for gracing us with their presence. If this kind of thing happened on their street they'd be screaming to whoever would listen. But we who live just off Alberta are supposed to be grateful they clog our streets and block our access so they can go patronize places we can't afford to go into. And this is exactly the type of "negativity" that the Friends of Last Thursday has 'uninvited' from their meetings. Go figure.