The Art of Parking (Lots)

by imageguy

Life is too hectic. Too much to do. My wife and daughter finally returned from Florida but my daughter left the next day on a boat trip through the New York Canal System. It’s an annual thing. My editing work has been consuming on top of just keeping up with walking the dog and living as a bachelor for the last few weeks. So this is the first chance I’ve had to do a blog post in over two weeks and I feel very guilty about that. I haven’t missed a week since I started until now. I’ve also been struggling with what to focus on and as I was walking the dog a few days ago an image from long ago just kept coming back to mind from a parking garage in Atlanta.

parking ramp

parking lot tree

Parking lots and parking garages are necessary expanses of somewhat wasted but valuable real estate. They don’t often get the attention they deserve in the planning and creation of urban spaces. More often than not, they are simply wide plains of asphalt punctuated by a grid-work of yellow or white lines and the occasional light pole. Occasionally they offer directional guides and the ever popular reserved handicap blue island. But they seem to lay there wishing for more character and purpose.


handicap space

gray door

Instead they are abandoned by their patrons as soon as a suitable location has been determined for the placement of the car. It’s a lonely, neglected existence. I would think parking lots would welcome the tail gate party before the game or the tent sale or the flea market. But they often must settle for the discharge of the leaky oil pan and the emptied ash tray and the occasional gathering of resting sea gulls. They enjoy far less drama and personality than the hitching post of by gone times. There is no desire to linger there.

trucks at the dock

Armstrong Lot

Pepsi sign

For some reason, I find parking lots a place of interest and often a good subject for images. Maybe it’s the emptiness, maybe it’s the feeling of anticipation. Maybe it’s the graphic nature and the Virgo in me looking for the sense of order.

Contemporary Trends

Red pipe

Maybe it’s the untold stories, the lives that pass with a variety of needs and goals. The thought of what happens here without anyone realizing. The secret meeting of a couple having an affair. The stalking of the unsuspecting. The unreported scratch left by the uncaring and negligent. The borrowing of a wayward cart by the homeless. The joy of gathering for an event. The parent teaching the first time driver on an empty Sunday morning.

CT cart in lot

There are stories here. They are not stories that are captured in the image, but stories that live in the idea of the space.

clouds and poles

All Images are Copyright © George Cannon, All Rights Reserved