The Death and Life of Great American Cities

That’s the title of the book I’m currently reading. Written by Jane Jacobs. Some of you who have been in the architectural/planning field may have heard or even read it. I myself have read sections of it in the past for some class during college. Since then I’ve been meaning to read it but never put the full effort behind it to get it done. Now with the possibility of grad school on the horizon, I figured I should get to reading it here. This book isn’t strictly for those of us interested in urban planning. No, it’s a good read for the general public. It gives a good insight into the field and how the fabric of urban areas is woven well or unwell.
So I started reading the book (again) today and it made me think about my own street. Tera has a subscription to netflix and I took it upon myself to put them in the mailbox for her. I took the book with me for the trip to the mailbox and continued to read. As I crossed to the other side of the street a 4 year oldish boy went whizzing by on his bike on the sidewalk. Shortly after he went whizzing by me in the opposite direction. He stopped at his house, looked back at me and said “how’s it going?” I said, “good. how are you?” “good.” I went back to reading my sentences with a smile on my face. I tried to insert the movies in our mailbox at the end of the street but they were too big. This meant I needed to take a much longer trip to the real deal blue mailbox 8 blocks away. It’s nice out so I went. Again the little kid rode by me. He looked back and said “i wanted to make sure you were still there.” I got into a dialogue with him explaining my predicament with the netflix dvds. He assured me he would keep on riding down the sidewalk and back to his house. We parted ways, but this is the sort of interaction that makes for a good urban (if you want to call Bend urban) environment. That boy’s father has the trust in the people that live around him to not do anything sinister to his son. Dad feels safe and unthreatened by his neighborhood. And I don’t blame him. There are eyes everywhere looking out at the street and sidewalk. Tera and I are keeping guard of our street. We look at everyone who walks by and if something were wrong, we’d know. So we’re safe. It’s a great feeling. By living here we have the responsibility to look after our neighbors and in return they will look out for us. Yeah, so that’s my rant for the day.

I think I was partially dead yesterday. I slept most of the day away and then got a full night’s rest last night. Before I go to bed, I usually will read a bit. Last night I turned on my night light and never touched my book. I fell right asleep only to wake up at 5:30 AM in the same exact position with my night light still on, confusing me because of how bright it was when I opened my eyes. I’ve had a relaxing day today. No one is here. I’ve been catching up on podcasts, finishing up details on my room and of course reading. Speaking of which, I think I’ll return to reading now. Have a good week everyone.

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