Why is it that the simple topic of New York City parking sparks conversation between strangers on a subway? Because finding NYC parking is just as competitive as finding an apartment, a babysitter, a dry cleaner, or a spouse. With street parking’s seemingly secret rules of alternate side of the street parking, holiday schedules, construction site barricades and parking meters that don’t take coins, many people turn to one of Manhattan’s 1,100 off-street parking garages or open lots.
But despite having a choice of 100,000 spaces, it just isn’t that easy to find the great NYC garage that is either half a block from your destination or has the cheapest three-hour rate in the neighborhood. And once you do find it, you may not remember where it was for the next time.
An avid lover of New York City and passionate that parking shouldn’t ruin your day or cost you too much, Margot Tohn set out in 2006 to create Park It! NYC, the most comprehensive guidebook to NYC parking. Her efforts spanned 18 months of working with the Department of Consumer Affairs, driving every single street in Manhattan, creating maps that are easy to read, and devoting endless hours to organizing and confirming data. “I couldn’t believe that a city as big and wonderful as New York City still had parking as a major issue for residents and visitors. So I set out to make parking easier and painless for everyone.”
Park It! NYC 2007 received widespread media coverage including network television, two features in The New York Times, radio interviews, a AAA-NY endorsement, the first feature of a self-published book from Cornell Alumni Magazine, articles in NYC newspapers Newsday and NY Daily News, and features from suburban and other Metro-NY newspapers. Park It! NYC is now recognized as the authoritative resource for parking garage information.
Margot continued to publish the 2nd Edition, Park It! NYC 2008, and the 3rd Edition, Park It! NYC. Each edition was fully revised and updated after Margot visited every garage and lot to research any changes in rates, services, and location. Park It! NYC 2009 expanded to include NYC Highway Maps and NYC Gas Station Map as well as sections on Parking in the Theater District, New Garages, Museums and Tourist Attractions, and Monthly Parking Rates. Both annual editions continued to provide the most comprehensive and current information on parking garages in Manhattan, and received significant media accolades.
In 2010, Margot grew the Park It! business to help companies and individuals find NYC monthly parking. With over 600 participating NYC garages, Park It! has found great parking deals for hundreds of residents and commuters.
Margot is working on a fabulous new way to get discounted parking for as little as an hour of parking. Stay tuned!
About the Publisher & Author
Margot Tohn has over fifteen years’ experience in international marketing and product management, specifically managing major start-up projects for the financial services and publishing industries in New York, San Francisco, and Australia. While working for News Ltd. in New York and Murdoch Magazines in Australia, she established one of the first loyalty programs for magazine advertisers, launched several new consumer titles, and developed innovative marketing strategies for subscription and advertising campaigns. Her work in financial services involved being on Westpac Banking Corporations’ lead marketing team for two of Australia’s largest financial services mergers and managing part of Westpac’s Sydney 2000 Olympic Games sponsorship, before she joined the Schwab Fund for Charitable Giving as Marketing Director and raised more than $250 million for one of the US’ largest donor-advised fund, a public charity.
She left the corporate world behind in 2005 to start up two businesses – the marketing consulting firm, Marketing Solutions, which provided services to small and medium-sized businesses, and her own publishing company, Park It! Guides.
The idea for the book came about one Sunday afternoon when she and her family drove in to town to see a matinee. After locating a NYC parking garage close to their theater they waited patiently in a very long line to enter. As they inched their way toward the entrance and were just about to turn into the driveway, the valet put out a ‘FULL’ sign.
Out of luck and running out of time they knew their options were limited and opted for another garage nearby that had openings but was more costly than the first. Seeing the need for a handy guidebook to hassle-free parking in Manhattan she set her sites on making it happen.
A judicious researcher with a keen eye for detail and design, Margot spent over 240 hours driving through every single street in Manhattan – twice! – visiting garages large and small, double-checking her data and plotting the full-color maps that round out the book.
A graduate of Cornell University (BA in Linguistics) and the Australian Graduate School of Management at the University of New South Wales (MBA in Marketing and Strategy) Margot has traveled extensively in the Asia-Pacific region, made her own wine, worked on a cattle station in Australia, and sailed on a 72 ft ocean-racing yacht from the UK to France. She has served on the Board of openhousenewyork, volunteers for Cornell University as a member of Cornell Council and President of her Class, and regularly attends the opera and plays tennis.
Naturally, she lives in New York City.