Last week, a Queens restaurant's workers were spotted illegally using public parking spaces on the street for the restaurant's valet parking. Now the NY Times sent a reporter to try to park her car in front of fancy apartment buildings, where doormen try to leave spots open so residents can get out of cabs or their own cars easily. Outside of a Fifth Avenue building, she was told by one doorman, "We have about 160 apartments, and you are inconveniencing them, and we have a lot of elderly people... [You] must not be from here."

One Park Avenue building has an orange parking cone protecting its turf, but the Department of Transportation tells the Times that it is illegal for "any person to reserve or attempt to reserve a parking space, or prevent any vehicle from parking on a public street." The law also prevents drivers from "[standing in the street, using] hand signals [or putting' any box, can, crate, handcart, dolly or any other device, including unauthorized pavement, curb or street markings or signs" to keep drivers away.

But for the creme de la creme of parking spot possessiveness run amok....have you heard about the Chicago custom of "dibs"?