Monday, January 31, 2011

Day 31: One that got away


Paradise paved, Los Angeles, California, July 2007,
Nikon D40, 35mm focal length equiv. 255mm, Exposure 1/200 sec @ f5.6, ISO 200, no flash, 
© Steven Crisp [Click on the photo to enlarge]
I'm really amazed at the contrast between urban sprawl in the U.S. and many of the cities and towns in Europe, especially here in Germany.

You might think it was our fascination with the automobile, but hey, don't you think Germany gets a tip o' the hat there as well?

This is Los Angeles.  My brother-in-law lived there for many years, but recently, has purchased a home in Nevada.  I cannot tell you how much happier he sounds as he begins to make that his new home.

So where am I going with this?  Well, perhaps a couple of places.

First, one thing I noticed when I was stuck in traffic, especially around Wilshire Blvd, were all the six-figure cars that were stuck idling right next to me (not this photo, but you'll have to trust me).  So my first point?  Don't bother "keeping up" with the Jonses.

Second, if you care about the character of your town or city, you need strong zoning laws, that put a premium on green space, close clustering in neighborhoods, with local shopping, so autos don't rule.  And for commuting, there is no substitute for walking and biking trails and public trains.

Third, for all we bemoan our various governments about, this is what we need them for.  To look out for the public's interest, where the free-market does not care about "livibility" and "quality of life".

And finally, never forget that this is the only life you've got.  Do you really want to spend it trapped in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the highway?  You get the most important vote.  You vote with your dollars and your feet.  You get to choose to work in a small town, rather than the big city (and yes, settle for less dollars but perhaps more happiness).

So make the right choice.  And when you find your little piece of paradise -- make sure you get involved and don't let them pave it.

Oh yeah, and sing a little Joni Mitchell:



Big Yellow Taxi, by Joni Mitchell

They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
And a swinging hot spot

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

They took all the trees
Put 'em in a tree museum
And they charged the people
A dollar and a half just to see 'em

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Hey farmer farmer
Put away the D.D.T. now
Give me spots on my apples
But leave me the birds and the bees
Please!

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Late last night
I heard my screen door slam
And a big yellow taxi
Took away my old man

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

I said don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot



  • Donation:  Mercy for Animals (MFA); you may be interested to see their letter to Taco Bell -- makes sense to me
  • Exercise:  Brisk (cause it was cold) walks on Patch (15 mins).  Lame, I know.

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