Ahh, the winter wonderland of Chicago. Glistening, snow-covered lawns, sparkling icicles…and tacky vinyl kitchen chairs in the street? Saving your shoveled-out parking spot in Chicago has become a time-honored tradition called “Chicago Dibs.” It ranks up there with 16-inch softball and Italian beef sandwiches. This is truly a legitimate (albeit controversial) practice that is based on one principal – if you shovel it out; you have dibs on it until the next melt. If it makes you feel better, call it parking spot insurance. No questions asked. (Although the morality of Chicago Dibs is hotly debated every winter.)
While practiced in other snowed-in cities like Boston, Philadelphia and even Washington D.C., Chicago remains the gold standard in saving a shoveled-out parking spot. Even former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley defended the oddball practice, saying in 2000: “If someone spends all their time digging their car out, do not drive into that spot. This is Chicago. Fair warning.” (Clearly he was in touch with the common man!)
The locals stake their ”Chicago Dibs” with an odd and ingenious menagerie of unloved garage sale rejects. The variety of placeholders is really quite spectacular. In that spirit, may we present to you our Top Ten List of Chicago Dibs Parking Spot Holders in Chicago:
Stake your claim on the spot with flags declaring your own sovereign country and crown yourself king/queen.
Share your favorite parking spot saver stories and photos with us! Tweet a description or photo of the oddest parking spot saver and include the hashtag #chicagodibs. We’ll retweet our favorites!
Photos courtesy of boston.com, temporaryservices.org, and retrokitchentable.org.