June 19, 2008

City lights on the inside of my eyelids

I miss living in a city. I haven't very often or for very long. Barcelona for 2 months, Seattle for 5 months, I guess you can count Richmond for 2 years. A corner stone of any city that I'd like to live in is public transportation.

Seattle had an amazing public transit system that would take me from Bellevue into downtown in about 45 minutes. This is me time, time to read and listen to music. NOT talk on the phone, because that's just rude. But I really enjoy the sway of the bus, the other travelers; I feel connected with them in a way that I don't when we drive next to each other. The driving is left to someone else and I can watch the scenery. I can focus on the birds and sunset, I don't have to worry.

Around Seattle also had ferries, these are at least 12 kinds of awesome. They also provide a time for picture taking, down time, time to talk and provide a good adventure, even if only for 30

I enjoy much more riding the subway. The dirty tiled floor of the station, swiping cards or giving tokens has a sense of time to it that cannot be matched anywhere else. Again, I enjoy connecting with the other passengers by their presence only. Talking to strangers in that kind of setting has never appealed, but the clutch of the train as it pulls away and the G forces as it slows down. The flickering of lights, well it just appeals to me.

I miss living in a place where I can travel without being the driver. Here either I bike or I drive. There is a bus, sure, but it runs only a few times a day and isn't really designed for around town commuting, more for cross island destinations.

I enjoy walking on stone. The hard surface beneath me makes me feel small against the age of this stone. It's been around longer than I have and will continue to be long after I'm not.

It's not just the reduced carbon footprint, or the lower cost, the absence of anxiety from not driving. It's also the culture. These things were built during a time when city planners put an enormous effort into moving a large amount of people. This technology comes form a time when society wasn't centered around the individual. You can blame it on whatever you want, video games or media, it doesn't really matter at this point. Pretty much everyone is on this path to manifest destiny.

$4.50 at the pumps yesterday and I still filled up.

To revive my old meme:
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be.
If you had your choice of method of transportation there, what would you choose?


Jay Bazuzi said...

"If you had your choice of method of transportation there, what would you choose? "

Walking. I want to live somewhere that walking makes sense 90% of the time.

Fofo said that they used to live 2 doors down from the grocery store. No one had a fridge (or electricity!), but they could buy food fresh each day.

Whiskeymarie said...

1. Northern California
2. Biking. Love it.