how to find your car at the Palisades Mall lot

Since moving to the Nyack area, I have lost far too many hours wandering around the parking lot of the ginormous Palisades Center trying to find where I left my car. This is not only upsetting from a memory standpoint, it is dangerous: carrying all those bags of superfluous purchases up and down one parking aisle to another is putting a serious strain on my biceps. Naturally, I’ve been trying to figure out how to streamline this process. The following “solutions” can be applied to any mall parking lot you regularly get lost in:

  • Leave a trail of popcorn from your car to the door. Problem: This edible pathway might get eaten by birds, or people, (or, most likely, by you before you ever reach the mall).
  • Attach something goofy to your radio antenna, preferably a little green alien doll, a fake carnation, or a big paisley bow. Problem: This will make your car look silly in all but this scenario.
  • Invest in a hydraulic lift similar to the one your mechanic has so that you can elevate your car higher than the rest. Problem: These are difficult to fold into your trunk and take up valuable space you need for all those shopping bags.

  • Paint your car neon orange. Problem: Construction cones could feel threatened (they don’t know that emulation is the greatest form of flattery) and they could organize an attack.
  • Flag down the mall security guards on patrol and ask them frantically if they have seen your black sedan with NY plates. Problem: Every car in that lot is either a black sedan with NY plates, a charcoal SUV with NY plates, or a grey Prius with NY plates.
  • If you get one of those teeny tiny Smart Cars, you won’t even have to park it – you can just drive it straight through the entrance and through the mall hallways (a.k.a. mallways). Problem: Though I am sure these toy-like cars have emergency brakes, this could get a bit tricky on the escalators.
  • Remember what section you parked in (signs with letters and numbers are provided for this reason) or at least remember which door you entered the mall from. Problem: Impossible.

  • Purchase a helicopter, land it on the roof, clip into mountain climbing gear, then scale down the side of Macy’s. Problem: You’ll need to bring a strong friend to belay you and your purchases back up. (Note: if she assures you too earnestly that you looked great in the bikini you just tried on, she is not trustworthy enough for the task.) Second problem: you might forget where you parked your helicopter.
  • Leave your car in your driveway and just walk to the mall. Even though it’s a few miles away, this would certainly result in less walking than you’d do searching for your car. Problem: This process might sell you on the splendors of the outdoors and encourage you to skip going to the mall all together.

As you can see, every solution here has at least one minor catch. I’ll have to keep working on this. In the meantime, if you see an extremely distraught woman wandering around the lot, balancing a teetering pyramid of H&M bags in one hand and trying to use a pile of Lord and Taylor coupons as a compass in the other, please let me know what you think of my new crop pants.

8 replies

  1. This is so funny Joc, I usually run around the parking lot hitting the panic button until I hear my alarm:))

    • Ha! I don’t think my car has one of those? Probably a good thing: I’d probably hit it accidentally all the time…

  2. Ahhh yes, leaving the city and re-discovering the mall. Me, too. Add two little kids for extra fun! If you don’t have that, bring along a goat and a baby hyena.

    • hee hee – or even bette:r two adorable little kids wearing a goat costume and a hyena costume 🙂

  3. When I was a teen, a friend and I went all the way to a NJ mall from the Bronx. At closing time, we realized we had no clue as to the wearabouts of the car. Two city girls who had been getting themselves around NYC since they were like 10 were completely lost at a suburban mall. So, we flagged down security and had a fun ride in the security vehicle searching for our car. We had a great time and just ignored the increasingly bad attitude of the security guard!

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