Axis Mundi X discussion

We are now an Urban World

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Servius  Heiner  | 1980 comments Mod
Judging by the state of many cities I would say slums it is. You could not pay me to move back to Chicago. I love visiting, I love the food, but I will never live there again. Don’t even mention southern Cali.

message 2: by Ruth (new)

Ruth I was just looking at a book of paintings by the Southern California plein aire school, done in the 20s, 30s, and 40s. I'm old enough that I can remember the 40s, and places in California that looked like those paintings. I don't like to think about it.

message 3: by Paul (new)

Paul Bryant "The bourgeoisie has subjected the country to the rule of the towns. It has created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life."

Marx & Engels, Communist Manifesto, 1848

Servius  Heiner  | 1980 comments Mod
One more reason the guy was a dumb ass then.

message 5: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 129 comments Cities are the future? Count me in.

Of course, I live in the sustainabliest (Stephen Colbert, if you want that word, you'll have to pay me royalties) city in the country. Portland doesn't have slums, it has Dignity Village, the only homeless tent encampment on the planet, as far as I know, that has city-regulated fire extinguishers. We have this sign (my absolute favorite street sign ever anywhere) to make sure bikers don't kill themselves when crossing the light-rail tracks. 25% of city energy by 20xx (I can't remember all the frickin' details) will come from not only renewable energy sources, but renewable sources that are salmon-friendly (and to think, I was proud of how much of my electric came from the hydro dams...). I love salmon, so I'm all for it.

I live in the city of the future. See y'all in a decade or so. :p

message 6: by RandomAnthony (last edited Jun 22, 2008 06:13AM) (new)

RandomAnthony Well, I don't want to live in Chicago either, but believe it or not, I think it's one of the better cities...

I grew up there, and I think it's improved a lot in the last twenty years. Of course, huge stretches of the south side are still war zones...I don't mean to pretend otherwise...

The real scary cities, in my eyes, are the rust belt cities...Detroit, etc. and the decaying southern cities...those are the cities that could use a portlandesque revitalization, I guess.

Although I wouldn't want the Portland hipness factor, I'd steal what I could:)

Servius  Heiner  | 1980 comments Mod
I agree Chicago is a great place to visit, But I like walking out my back door and not seeing/hearing anyone. Living on top of one another just isn't good for the head.

message 8: by RandomAnthony (last edited Jun 22, 2008 06:25AM) (new)

RandomAnthony Yeah, I hear you, Nick. I like space, esp. since I had kids...I hear a desperation in some of the people who still live in cities with kids..."wecantakethemtomuseumsandtothebaseballgame..." Well, I can take my kids to Chicago within a couple hours, too, and I live in a place where people don't lock their doors. My kids have a yard, not a postage stamp patch of crabgrass, and good schools. I'll stay here too, thank you very much. We're getting more development, of course, and we'll see how the planning proceeds.

message 9: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 129 comments My address isn't available through Goodreads, right?

I also don't always lock my doors. It isn't intentional, it's just that the front door lock doesn't work right, and once in ten or fifteen times I might forget to lock my front or back door. And I've got a window I worry might be reachable with a little work.

And I live in a city where the murder rate is 1/5 that of comparable-sized cities like Minneapolis or Milwaukee...but the theft rate might be higher.

I wouldn't mind my kids having a postage-stamp, though it wouldn't be crabgrass, it'd probably be carrots and sugar-snap peas. When I have kids, I don't want them to grow up with the idea that having a personal expanse of lawn big enough for baseball and soccer games is the norm, because it probably won't be sustainable when the size of the lawn isn't my decision.

Good schools, on the other hand, should not be negotiable. Portland Public, take notice, I intend to have kids. And I read research in my spare time. So get your shit together.

message 10: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony Were the Portland Public Schools the ones that ran out of money a couple years ago and had to close early, Lisa? Didn't they run into huge financial problems? I seem to remember hearing about I hallucinating?

Yes, Milwaukee has definite issues...again, it's improving, but these industrial that the jobs are gone or's a serious problem. They're trying to redefine themselves. Portland doesn't seem to have the same rust belt industrial history, but I could be wrong.

message 11: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 129 comments Yes, they were. I didn't even live here at the time, but Doonesbury made sure I knew about it.

Portland's struggling with the fact that the timber jobs are going away, but the city's got more going on, and has managed to develop some tech jobs, and remarkably, has a pretty city-sustaining market in enviro, green-energy, and sports/outdoorsy (Nike/Adidas/Columbia/and so on) businesses.

I will consider private schools for my kids, but I'd prefer not to have to. We'll see where they are when I get there. Hopefully not out of money and illegally ending their school year at the beginning of May.

message 12: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony Pronghorn antelope are cool.

message 13: by Ruth (new)

Ruth I need privacy, but privacy doesn't necessarily mean lots of space. It all depends on how things are situated. In Redlands, we had 3/4 of an acre on a ridge above the town. Lots of neighbors, also on fairly large lots. It was a good place for the kids, adjacent to the chaparral-covered hills where they could roam to their heart's content as long as they watched for rattlesnakes.

Now, we're on a postage-stamp lot. But we're on a hill so we barely see the roof of the house below. We never pull what blinds we have. No one can see in. I feel quite private, so it works.

message 14: by Not Bill (new)

Not Bill | 1062 comments Yes RA, antelope are very cool...and very, very tasty. They're also the puffballs of the prairie, but only because we don't have dik-dik.

I've lived in a large city, and a town with a population of 700. Gimme rural everytime.

message 15: by Jackie "the Librarian", Cool Star Trek Nerd (new)

Jackie "the Librarian" | 1818 comments Mod
I love my small city. I have a decent-sized yard, a short commute by bus, and woods just a bike ride away.

It's not too big, it's not too small. It's juuuuust right. Yay Olympia!

message 16: by Ruth (new)

Ruth I would be most unhappy, though, if my small city was not within an hour's driving of a large city, with a concert hall, museums, etc.

message 17: by Charissa, That's Ms. Obnoxious Twat to You. (new)

Charissa (dakinigrl) | 3620 comments Mod
NB... They're also the puffballs of the prairie, but only because we don't have dik-dik.

so many jokes... so little time....

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