Ongoing History: Elbow Grease

It’s around four o’clock on Sunday, October 30, and an older woman is standing in the middle of Gross Street trying to get the parking sticker off the inside of her car window.

“What are you using to do that?” I ask.

“A scouring pad,” she says as she wildly rubs the gray pad wildly over the sticker, dripping soapy, metallic liquid down the glass onto the street. “And elbow grease.”

She keeps rubbing the scouring pad as fast as she can over the sticker, a white square with a blue border and a blue H in the center and blue type at the top reading Bloomfield Resident Parking. “I got to get this one off to put the new one on,” she huffs. The white and blue sticker gradually disappears as it dissolves into a liquid on the cold pavement.

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