What looks like a pretty perfect build for a sub24 camping bike...Note the Della Santa poster in my classroom in the background of the third shot!
It's pretty amazing to think that I've had this bike for going on 23 years! Still looks amazingly good even after bike tours, commutes, and many errand rides.
This is a fascinating article on urban design, the "grid," and what it might mean regarding our values as a society. Ok, the "values" part is mostly me projecting. But it does talk about the basic grid, and our move away from it, and I think that says as much if not more about our evolution as a society away from valuing humans vs. humans driving cars.
I recently taught the Ray Bradbury short story, The Pedestrian, which in typical Bradbury fashion subtly criticizes the human willingness to supplant actual experience, with virtual experience. The "Pedestrian" in the story is the only one who goes for walks in 2053, instead of watching his "viewing screen" and by the end is arrested for being "regressive."
In the past I've my students to consider their own neighborhoods and go for a walk and make some judgements about what house and neighborhood designs say about our cultural values. But if you look at virtually any house built pre 1950 there are some pretty obvious but implicit statements about cultural values you can make.
Anyway, below is an excerpt of the article:
Cities often celebrate the anniversaries of major pieces of transformative infrastructure, like bridges or buildings or dams. It's much more rare to celebrate the birthday of a design template. The bicentennial of Manhattan's street grid, which fell in 2011, was an exception. There was an exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York to mark the milestone. Countless articles from planners, architecture critics, and urbanists lauded the foresight of the city's street commissioners, who in 1811 laid down the plan that defines the island's development to this day.
On the occasion, the New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman, wrote this about the "oddly beautiful" grid:
It's true that Manhattan lacks the elegant squares, axial boulevards and civic monuments around which other cities designed their public spaces. But it has evolved a public realm of streets and sidewalks that creates urban theater on the grandest level. No two blocks are ever precisely the same because the grid indulges variety, building to building, street to street.
New York, of course, is not the only city built on a grid. Similar schemes could be found as far back as ancient Greece and Rome. But Manhattan's design was the exemplar for what became the default pattern of American cities.
Still, not all grids are created equal. Some shape a walking-friendly streetscape. Others, not so much. Over at the Strong Towns blog, Andrew Price, a software developer by day who blogs about urbanism, has been writing about the math of the grid and what it reveals about a city's economic productivity and walkability.
On the heels of the CDC's new mask guidelines, the school district decided to keep and not keep the mask policy to finish out the academic year. Once again, the District leadership acts with little thought. I'm on board with following the guidelines laid out by the CDC and allowing vaccinated teachers and students to go without masks. Or, alternatively, with the school year merely weeks away from being over, they could say out of an abundance of caution we should stick to the mask policy and plan for a fresh start next year. Instead, we received mixed signals about having a mask policy but not enforcing it leaving teachers, staff, and students wondering what is allowed, what is safe, etc. Inevitably this turned the choice to wear masks into a personal, and political, statement, and distracted from the real goal of doing our best to get kids to not lose credit and stay focused for the last 3 weeks of an already highly stressful year. I didn't think my lack of confidence in decisions being made at the district level could get any lower.
For over 12 Years I wrote the Reno Rambler Blog covering everything from Bicycle Advocacy, Reno Politics, Popular Culture, and my experiences as a long-time cyclist.