Remember Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi?”
♬ They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.
In my neighborhood they’re doing the opposite. Tearing up the parking lots and the boulevard to put in strips of plants and trees. Where we used to have handy parking and a clear line of sight for safe driving, now we have fewer parking spaces, street signs hidden by tree branches, and blind corners.
Improvement? I think not.
What we need in our town is more parking, not less. A better road, not a prettier one.
Visitors to my home will tell you it’s never without a vase or two of flowers. Long ago, I conned my husband into thinking it was his responsibility to ensure fresh flowers every week. Lucky me.
For those of us who like flowers and plants, there are nurseries that sell them for every room in the house. We can do without them while we drive and shop.
( ❀ How’s this for irony — the local flower shop where my husband buys the bouquets, is in danger of closing because it’s hard to access the shop while they’re tearing up the street for the beautification project.)
♬ Give me spots on my apples but leave me the birds and the bees.
I admire people like Joni who are willing to go the whole way for their beliefs, like accepting wormy apples, bird poop, and bee stings as the price of their love of “nature” vs. technology. (On the other hand, Joni, all that equipment that brings your message to the world—well, it’s not done with flower petals.)
The people who irritate me are those who want it all—the right to rail against technology but still use its comforts.
At a conference this spring, waiting for an elevator, I saw a large, obviously homemade button. A woman wore it on her lapel: LAST LIVING LUDDITE.
I smiled. “That can’t be you,” I said.
“Yes it is,” she said, head held high. “I don’t have a cell phone. I don’t email or text. I’m not on Facebook—”
I had to interrupt. “So, you’re not in line for the elevator?”
She looked confused. “Of course I am.”
But this was a very smart lady. I could tell by her frown that she knew where I was headed: Real luddites don’t ride elevators.
The elevator came. The lady turned and walked away. I wonder if she used the stairs or simply took the next car.
I wish she’d stayed to chat. I love hearing about people’s attitudes toward technology, where their thresholds are. For the mysterious button lady, clearly her line in the sand embraced elevators, but not communications devices and social networks. I wonder if she owns an old-fashioned telephone.
♬ They took all the trees and put ‘em in a tree museum
And they charged all the people a dollar and a half just to see ‘em.
Makes sense to me.
Filed under: Camille Minichino