streets part II

In New York, we walk everywhere. That or we take the train to a location where we exit the tube and go walk somewhere. It is one of the most appealing aspects to this city. If you're in a car, you'll miss the most fascinating people watching on the planet, you'll miss the vendors, the humanity. Its vaunted "edge" is because of it street life. Sure, there are many European cities that would balk at the above statements, and they would be quite correct. However, here in the states, we really haven't been able to figure out what streets mean to us over and beyond vehicles for vectorizing traffic, i.e. they are there for cars. I write this because of the well written (and quite long) piece over at bldgblog which gives a thoughtful rant about an event in LA entitled "Great Streets," in which, it seems, the whole idea of street as public realm sort of went over everyone's head. Well worth the read.

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