Friday, March 2, 2012

Economics, Politics and Parking

Early this morning Harvey Nash hosted a breakfast and presentation as a part of their Leadership Lecture Series. It was held at the The Plaza Hotel in New York City. I was fortunate enough to have been invited. Albert Ellis, Global President and CEO of Harvey Nash gave some opening remarks, and then introduced Senator John Kerry, the keynote speaker.

Before the session began, I ran into a couple of old friends and met a few new people. In the polite chit chat I said I had driven in and mentioned my discount parking deal.

Some of you may know that it is a challenge to drive in New York City. The roads are rough and the pedestrians bold and unyielding. There are buses, trucks and undisciplined taxi drivers. The streets are filled with construction activities, traffic lights and a seemingly endless array of other obstructions.

The only thing tougher than driving in Manhattan is finding an available, affordable, safe place to park.

Some years back I discovered an absolutely brilliant on-line service. NYC.BestParking.com is a site where you  can specify any location in New York and it will identify discount parking nearby. You can enter actual addresses, choose the neighborhood or named attractions.

Set the arrival date and time, select the length of stay and voila, a map of garages with the rates for each will appear. Some rates are guaranteed while others are best available information. You make your selection and print a coupon to be presented at the time of payment. As long as you stay within the time window you specified they must charge you the amount on the coupon and not a penny more.

Recently the service has been expanded to another 40 US and three Canadian cities. Of course it is available on the most popular mobile platforms iPhone, Android, Blackberry and ordinary cell phone.

Knowing I was heading to a high priced zone, I used the service to book a spot in a garage with a rate of $19 for the entire day. My colleague, unaware of this service had randomly parked in another facility close by, but his rate was nearly three times my cost.

By the way, if you follow me on twitter you know I tweeted during the session. Ellis made some very cogent points regarding the world economy and how certain countries are outdoing the US. Senator Kerry also made a number of interesting points, however, his talk was less about leadership and more about Republican bashing. Video clips of the session, photos and more will be available at Harvey Nash Leadership Lecture if you care to watch.

Far too political for my taste.

Captain Joe

Follow me on Twitter @JPuglisiLLC