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Buying Cars — and Parking Cars — in New York City

  • August 12, 2020

Rachel Weiss, 49, a head of innovation at L’Oreal who lives in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, leased her new garnet-colored Cadillac CT5 at the end of July. “This is my first car, so I went all in,” she said. “I dipped into my savings. I felt trapped.”

On the Upper East Side, Lauren Caretsky, a 35-year-old advertising manager, finally took up the mantle of her patronymic, springing to lease a new, gray Honda CR-V in May. “Haven’t had a car since college about 13 years ago,” she said.

In Clinton Hill, the political donor organizer Jane Lerner, 49, bought a used Mazda CX-5 off Carvana, delivered straight to her door. The last time she had a car? It was 2002.

“I sold that car (a green Honda Civic) to a friend (who drove it off a cliff in Big Sur) and have driven rarely since,” Ms. Lerner explained over a chat app (the friend is OK). “Over my years in Brooklyn, I’ve considered getting a car, but never seriously.” But just one week into lockdown? “It became a very clear decision. Couldn’t be happier with it.”

Erica Lyon of Prospect Heights and Biz Lindsay of Greenpoint, both 33, sprung for Volkswagens: a used white Golf and a new black Golf Alltrack, respectively. Alex Faille in Fort Greene, also 33, bought a used Jeep Wrangler. In Bedford-Stuyvesant, Subarus seemed to be the rage: Al Risi, a 53-year-old music supervisor, scored a used Forester. Oliver Klein, 31, a restaurant manager, and his fiancé, Molly Stein, 30, who works in art publishing: A used Crosstrek.

And in Williamsburg, Eli Razavi, 31, and his fiancée Tamara Fine, 27, went in on a petrol blue-green 1987 Mercedes-Benz 560 SL convertible. Mr. Razavi had moved to New York from Los Angeles 10 years ago and sold his car for cash on arrival. “‘I’m never getting a car again’” is how he felt at the time. And then, of course, enter Covid-19:

“I just felt like I was trapped. And I didn’t want to take public transportation or Uber. I didn’t want to deal with renting cars because everything was booked.”

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