Thursday, December 22, 2016

A Surb Is a City?

Well, a good question to ask in light of musings in the real estate world about what exactly constitutes a city anyway - when the suburbs surrounding some of our major cities are becoming increasingly populated. With condo and apartment buildings, of all things. With manufactured 'centers' (of sorts). Often with the help of some business lingo hoping to make sense of the sense of a community.

Because many if not most cities as we usually know them have the advantage of recognizable centers, a 'downtown'. What's downtown in an area full of high rise 'homes'? Ideally living spaces that are near good transportation. I'm looking at page 10 of the New York Times for Sunday Dec. 18/16, headlined The New Suburbia. (Real Estate section of course). It puts the rose on such developments occurring largely in the outlying New York Metropolitan areas and points to a 'shift' in attitudes towards such options.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

the uber pool

Not a swimming pool, of course but Uber 'group' transport - depending on number of people calling in on a single route. The price is right (half the UberX rate I found one recent morning at 10 a.m. in Washington, DC, if your patience is in check. Young Wanda showed up in minutes in a clean Chevy Malibu, taking her car out  for the first time after a bureaucratic hassle with the DC MVB inspectors she said . GPS is her guide/god and I didn't quibble (though I later found the GPS slightly off my destination point).  The only other rider turned out to be a Georgetown Medical Center resident named Peter from Phoenix, just coming out of his gym with coffee cup in hand. He uses the pool all the time and claimed he seldom has more than one sharing. The mood of the day was sunny (after a long previous day of rain), conversation was easy. I found myself wishing the business of sharing rides was the rule rather than the exception. The system crosses income and residential boundaries - and such an opportunity often is rare. Because a ride takes longer for each person, there is time to converse, to learn something about the life of a stranger. What other current transport service encourages that? A chance to share life with a stranger from another background, to compare views. Pie-in-the-sky thinking perhaps but what is the harm in trying this way to breach the walls that contain most of us, traveling paths of least resistance.