Saturday, June 15, 2024



My lovely wife and I went out walking in our city. At some late point we stopped and had a prosecco sitting at a metal table on a sidewalk next to a busy street. It was lovely and unpleasant, which I found confusing. The sidewalks were full of life. People walked by. Parents rode along with bikes jimmied together with giant buckets carrying their children. Couples dated. A man came along eating an ice cream sandwiched in two cookies, which is a specialty of a nearby eatery. People picked up pizzas, went desperately looking for their dog that ran away, and biked happily along until, and this is where we come to it, someone honked at them and nearly killed them with their car.

Yes, bisecting in the most savage way, a city of life and humanity, were two massive streets, four lanes or more wide, with loud, fast, polluting cars racing by. It was like there was a nice city trying to claw its way out from ugly and dangerous design and... not quite making it.

There is a cartoon I once saw, maybe a little famous in the Urbanist community, where the streets are not removed, rather they are simply deadly abysses, a perilous drop. People cling to the little ledges of sidewalks and, crossing the street is done on narrow planks. I love that cartoon, but also don't feel it does it quite justice; the normality of the streets everywhere, their sense of danger and carefully ordered alienness to a person on foot.

But we drank. We walked along on a warm summer night. And the whole time we talked about where to live.

And never came to an answer.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you were wondering, yes, you should comment. Not only does it remind me that I must write in intelligible English because someone is actually reading what I write, but it is also a pleasure for me since I am interested in anything you have to say.

I respond to pretty much every comment. It's like a free personalized blog post!

One last detail: If you are commenting on a post more than two weeks old I have to go in and approve it. It's sort of a spam protection device. Also, rarely, a comment will go to spam on its own. Give either of those a day or two and your comment will show up on the blog.