Wednesday, October 03, 2007

a city for the people

Here's a city which was planned and built for PEOPLE. In the U.S., that's highly unusual. Cities in this country are generally designed to accomodate the almighty automobile. This particular city, though, is more European in design, with its narrow streets, tightly packed buildings, smaller city blocks, bike lanes and truly functional mass transit. Parking lots are absent.

This downtown is vibrant and alive every day and night. People really do live in this downtown; we know this because grocery stores can be found here. Stores abound- big ones like Nordstrom, and small independent boutiques, along with a staggering array of restaurants, coffee shops and cafes.



Who needs a car? There are so many alternatives: walking, biking, light rail, streetcars, busses, and even a monorail (like a ski lift). The air is cleaner, the streets are safer, the people are thinner.

The urban planner's dream-come-true, this city features tight-knit neighborhoods, each with its own set of shops, coffee houses and restaurants, and many of these hoods are in or within walking distance of downtown. Can you imagine knowing and even socializing with your neighbors?

Let's hope this city sets a national trend.

20 comments:

Loving Annie said...

Good Wednesday evening to you, Betty !

Welcome home and welcome back ! I cyber-missed you !

Okay, I'm geographically ignorant -is that the City of San Francisco ???

Thank you for the sweet comment you left on my nice girl blog...

Life gets easier mainly when it is wholly within your power and your choice to make the decisions that work for you...

Sometimes that is after the kids are grown, or after retirement...

Sometimes money sets you free. (but I haven't won the lottery yet :)

Sometimes you find a job where the owners really treat you well...

Or your ex just stops being a putz...

Sometimes it is examining your own demons and how you get in your own way unknowingly...

Who knew that life was such an education ? sometimes the school of life is hard -- and sometimes the 'homework' ends up being so worth it, so very very worth it...

I wish you good things, sweet Betty, only good things.

Hugs and best wishes,
Loving Annie

p.s. I'd love your take today (October 3rd) on my www.yesilovethat.blogspot.com post if you have time/want to leave a comment...

Betty said...

Dear Annie,

Your comment makes a lot of sense. It's possible that I may have to wait a while.....

You guessed the correct coast, but the city in this post is Portland.

Thank you for the very thoughtful comment.

Hugs,
Betty

Priyamvada_K said...

Betty,
I guessed Portland. The city is nicer, but the homes are pricier :(

Priya.

Betty said...

Dear Priya,

I take it you've visited Portland. I was fortunate enough to have been shown around the city by a friend who moved there recently. She rehabs houses there, and you're absolutely right- houses are expensive! It made me appreciate the city I live in, at least price-wise....

Hugs,
Betty

simply me said...

Hi Betty - I was thinking this is in Seattle??
It does sound wonderful doesn't it? I know how much you want to be able to give up the car and walk everywhere and I do love that I idea too, though my heart is in the country.
Its good to see you back and I've missed reading your post. Hope all is well with you and your loving boy.

Betty said...

Dear Simply Me,

You're very close! It's not Seattle but Portland. Yes, it would be nice....funny thing is, most people there have cars anyway!

Yes, all is well- thanks! The court thing is ongoing, but I choose not to focus on it or write about it.

Hugs,
Betty

simply me said...

Dear Betty - today I told a friend who is going through a difficult time that if she wears it like a cloak and lets it drag behind her, the world will see it and not see her for who she really is. Negativity can wrap itself around us like stripes on candy candy. Swirling about us not letting our true self be free.

Take care of yourself...not writing about it can be a good thing.

Betty said...

Thank you, Simply Me! I was just wondering after writing that comment whether or not it was OK for me to NOT think about it, write about it, etc. because in the past, my way was to constantly dwell on things. Thank you for validating my new behavior!

Hugs,
Betty

motherwintermoon said...

Nice. Wish I were there!

I just found your place here in cyberspace and very sorry I missed your birthday. :(

As a childhood abuse survivor birthdays are very sad times for me...so I understand birthday pain and forlornness completely.

Blessed days every day. You are not alone. You are loved. You are a beautiful being. Everything good to you...MW

Lisa said...

Hi, Betty!

So glad to see you've posted again! You were missed!

I actually thought that the city was Ithaca, NY. It was recently voted one of the top ten "green" cities in America! If it wasn't so far upstate, I might have considered that as my retirement home location!

Hope all is well with you, and the child is doing well also!

Betty said...

Dear Motherwintermoon,

Thank you for visiting and commenting. I'm sorry to hear that you can relate to my birthday issues!

Hugs,
Betty

Betty said...

Dear Lisa,

I just spent some time in Ithaca last summer. It's awfully small, and I'm pretty sure there's not much mass transit beyond busses. But definitely I can see why you thought my post was about Ithaca- especially after looking at the last photo. I do wish that Portland was near the east coast, where my roots are. Then I would have liked it even more.

Hugs,
Betty

Kacey said...

Sounds like a great place to visit or live, but I couldn't handle the expensive prices of homes. The pictures are wonderful --- you do a lot of great visiting! Good to see you whirling again, I missed you.

Betty said...

Dear Kacey,

I agree with you- the house prices are enough to scare me away. I'm glad to have visited though, after all I had read about Portland. Thank you for enjoying the photos!

Hugs,
Betty

easywriter said...

I grew up in a place like that, a walk down the street could take forever, if you sneezed in your kitchen with the blinds drawn the folks at the other end of the street would stilll know and yell bless you. Shop owners knew all of the kids and where they lived. Everyone sat on their front porch of an evening. Those were good days.

Betty said...

Dear Easywriter,

It's rare for me to actually encounter a person who grew up in a place like this. I bet you miss it!

Hugs,
Betty

Desiree said...

Betty,

Wow that's quite a city! Thanks for sharing the pics an the info about it!

Betty said...

Dear Desiree,

It's good to "see" you again! I'll have to check to see if you've posted.....

Hugs,
Betty

Loving Annie said...

Just came by on Friday October 12th to see how you are doing and what is new with you, Betty !
*cyber-hugs*
Hope that all is well - thinking of you,
Loving Annie

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