Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday walk in the park

A very beautiful Sunday afternoon for a walk -- and LOTS of other people had the same idea. I love the Sunday afternoon crowds both in Central Park and along the Upper West Side streets [others streets too, but I'm not usually elsewhere]. Earlier this week I had a letter from someone who lives in a small city in Kansas. He and wife had visited NYC and stayed a week some ten blocks away from where I live. He rhapsodized about the mom and pop stores, the small individual boutiques and little restaurant some very plain, a few a bit fancy, all the non-corporate businesses He loved the crowds in the streets too.

Then he complained about the lack of people on streets in his town, even the teacher who lives within site of the school where she teaches actually drives from her garage to the school parking lot every day. He complained there is nothing downtown and that all the places at the edge of town are corporate from grocery stores belonging to big chains to the mall to the big box stores and the national fast food joints That's Kansas, Toto, and Indiana and South Dakota and Alabama and ... just about everywhere. Lots of scholarly articles and books have been written about what's happened to Main Street USA.

It's sad, it's part of the same syndrome of greed that our capitalistic system encourages -- the idea that quantity is more important than quality, that it's better to buy 24 rolls of toilet paper at a time, to eat the tallest hamburger concoction, have the largest number of choices of breakfast cereal and dog food, drive the biggest car/SUV, grow corn on the largest number of acres, crowd as many chickens as possible into multistoried buildings with the least amount of space and grow them as fast a possible [then you get the kind of meat I wrote about a few posts back-BLECH! Who asked, "Is this good?" Who's asking now?

Well, some people are asking. I just read about Prop. 2 in California pushing for more humane treatment of animals being raised for food. High time! We don't have to get Biblical to begin to understand that a day of reckoning is

Okay so how did I get here from a nice walk in the late October sun? It's the life we live, where in Manhattan, NY or Kansas. There is SO MUCH to think about, so much to pay attention to ... a walk in the park is not JUST a walk in the park. The ncessary mottos, I think, are "pay attention" and "give a damn."

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