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Ooh, good to hear that Citizen Jane was interesting; I should check it out at some point. I read The Death and Life of Great American Cities for a (very good!) history-of-the-city-of-New-York class I took in college; I should re-read it at some point. For sure one of the things I love about living in NYC is not having to have a car - I had one in high school in Rhode Island and then drove it to Georgia one summer during college (because that's where my mom moved to) - and then after I graduated from college it just sat in Georgia until finally we sold it because it became apparent that I a) definitely didn't want it in NYC and b) was not planning to leave NYC :P


I envy you living in NYC! And living in a city where walking is entirely doable. It is more of an effort here and I can see why most people have cars. It works for me not to have one and I don't feel like I am missing out. The film was really interesting and as you live in NYC and have read Jacobs I am sure you would like it, though you are probably already aware of some of the plans city planners had in mind in the 60s and thank heavens the plans were ultimately scrapped. It is fascinating to see how those 'projects' were wanted to make nice places for people to live but then ended up being the worst and most dangerous. Sadly cities in China and India are now doing exactly what was proven here to not be good solutions. Now I want to read more about Jane Jacobs--what a smart and admirable woman she was!


Atlanta's the same way. What was it they used to say about Los Angeles? "72 suburbs in search of a city"? Same thing here; nothing really downtown except for tourist attractions (World of Coca-Cola, the aquarium) and high priced tourist restaurants (Benihana, Hard Rock Cafe) and expensive hotels. A friend of mine from Westchester County was staying in downtown Atlanta one weekend and called me and said "there's nothing to do." No movies, no bookstores, no department stores, no real museums. Everything is 45 minutes by car from everything else. My favorite walking city is Boston.


I hate cities that sprawl and have lost that nice feeling of being neighborhood communities--it is a real pity that so many cities have gotten away from this. Omaha has some nice things downtown-I live close by and can walk, but really, our downtown, aside from a few areas pretty much rolls up the sidewalks when the business people go home. I think cities that really grew and expanded in the 60s and 70s did so in ways that mean they have lost that neighborhood feel--to see film clips about what city planners thought and said and did--it was all about cars and making roads and highways for them--there wasn't much thought that seemed to go into the people who live in place and how they interact. I have never been to Boston--sounds like a place I would like!


Yay for not having a car! When our car died last summer Bookman and I tried to figure out a way to not own a car but the car sharing didn't allow us to use a bike rack on the car and the bus to Bookman's work only runs every half hour. We are hoping one day to do away with the car. The film sounds great. I am really curious what US cities are in Made for Walking.


It works for me not to have one (even living in terrible-public-transport-city-of-Omaha!!!), but I know it is not an option for everyone! But it's cool that you have just one car for your household and you still ride your bike and take the train. Even if half the US went to one car and tried to use public transport or bikes some of the time, just imagine how much that would help the environment. The film is very much worth watching--hopefully it will be streaming soon. And I will send the list of cities to you--I don't have the book with me at the moment. It is my little fantasy to someday live in a city that is walkable and has good public transport options. Not sure it will ever happen, but that is a small thing to ask for, isn't it?

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