2.11.12

*** Sidewalk Weekend! ***


Sidewalk Rating: Bracing 

But there’s always that moment in a country’s history when it becomes obvious the earth is less manageable than previously thought. Ten years ago we needed to conduct comprehensive assessments of the flood defenses every five years. Now safety margins are adjusted every six months to take new revelations into effect. For the last year and a half we’ve been told to build into our designs for whatever we’re working on features that restrict the damaging effects after an inevitable inundation. There won’t be any retreating back to the hinterlands, either, because given the numbers we’re facing there won’t be any hinterlands. It’s gotten to the point that pedestrians are banned from many of the sea-facing dikes in the far west even on calm days. At the entrance to the Haringvlietdam they’ve erected an immense yellow caution sign that shows two tiny stick figures with their arms raised in alarm at a black wave three times their size that’s curling over them.



[Kids playing pumpkin bowling in Riverside Plaza, Minneapolis.]

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In 1800, Jefferson summed up his views on cities: "I view great cities as pestilential to the morals, the health and the liberties of man. True, they nourish some of the elegant arts; but the useful ones can thrive elsewhere; and less perfection in the others, with more health, virtue and freedom, would be my choice."2

[fm this.] 

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