Thursday, November 6, 2008
Our streetscapes display our obsolescence
empty parking lots like punched out teeth, in our city
library an Ivy league architect tells us we’ve betrayed our bustle.
He is not talking about the death of the corset industry, he is talking about
the way we have split our waterfront from our downtown with a thick and tender highway.
This architect breaks my heart
with his architect’s glasses and his white hair
with his passion and his broad intellect and his readiness to prostelytize
about the fatness of our nation. Let us blame it on urban design for cars! Let us blame
no one but ourselves. In the library we a joined by a mayor and developers
a former economic development director and urban proponents who parked
their saabs on the streets of this city hungry for their commerce. Nothing but saabs for new urbanists!
I alone am heartened by the architect's trolley promotion, I alone have a space in my heart
for those abandoned tracks lying beside the cobblestones, nestled like steel arms under the pavement.
I alone have trouble growing passionate about zoning re-writes, though I know they matter. I want only to fetch the nearest jackhammer so I might liberate our nation from the tyranny of car transportation.
I can’t find a soul in the place who will join me.