So, parking in Philly is ... complicated. You have laws, then again you have practices. For example, it is illegal to double park. However, you have South Philly, in which double parking is the norm. It has been done that way there for some decades, and the police don't bother the locals. For that matter, the cops themselves disproportionately live in South Philly.
Another local custom is that you can park illegally on weekends in some neighborhoods. Near me, that would be Lombard and Pine Streets, around 18th & 19th. The way that evolved is that there is a church and a synagogue in that area. Members of those houses of worship drive there for weekend services, and naturally, there is not adequate legal street parking, so they park illegally on the wrong side of two-lane one-way streets. And the cops didn't ticket them, because you can break the law if it is for a religious reason (?). But us seculars could draft in behind the pious, because nobody got tickets for parking illegally on those days.
Until now, apparently.
I was following the custom last Saturday when I was visiting a friend around 18th & Pine. Lots of cars were parked illegally, and I joined them. When I returned 45 minutes later, I found this:
I had parked behind this car:
Mildly exercised by getting ticketed and naturally curious, I checked his windshield, and found no ticket but instead, this:
Now, tell me: Does that look like an official government-issued parking permit to you? It looks to me like something that someone at the synagogue printed up. Now, I have nothing against the congregants of Beth Zion and Beth Israel following the local custom and parking illegally on Saturdays. But I am resentful as hell that they get to do it when the rest of us don't.
With a total lack of spare time, I don't know if I can follow up on this. Clearly, I have no easy way to challenge my ticket (and I paid it already anyway). What I would like to find out is who told the ticket writers to honor this homemade permit.