I’ve been reading a lot about the future by studying the past up to now. I’ve said repeatedly that I don’t want things to return to normal. I want them to be better.
I like the idea of NCY closing a lot of streets to traffic so people can walk about freely, but still social distancing.
I like the idea of the city of Berkeley closing their streets to traffic in order to create a giant outdoor food mall.
I like the idea of driving less.
I like the idea of permanently working from home as the Twitter staff are doing.
I like the idea of fewer, but better restaurants.
There are costs associated with all of this. Some may be smaller than we think.
For instance, if New York keeps many streets closed, how will people get to work? Working from home is the answer. Of course, that impacts the land and property owners who won’t be able to lease property at the current high prices. Maybe that will drive property prices down to something more affordable for those who want to open a business.
That may be a plus. It also affects many small business. Coffee shops. Smaller cafes. Small stores. These are places were workers of all stripes stop to get their morning coffee, lunch and maybe to pick up dinner. There is an obvious work around for this. I’ll let you tell me what it is, keeping in mind that many modern day New Yorkers can’t cook. Heh!
That’s just one example.
Let me just say that in New Orleans, we could probably do with a lot fewer restaurants. Pre-pandemic there was one for every 300 people. That’s unsustainable in a good year. Yes. I know that means fewer jobs. That’s an adressible issue.
The list goes on.
Some of my reflections came from a long piece in Eater. If you don’t know it, you should. It’s http://www.eater.com Pick your favorite city and have a look. It’s a foodie group of websites but many topics are addressed on its pages.
Eater published a long story about the state of the meat packing industry. In a word, it’s frightening. My takeaway is simple. We don’t need to eat so much commercial meat. If we pay a little more and shop locally, we can keep ourselves healthy and taste the meat again.
At the end of the day, in almost every category, smaller is better.
That is something we can all do starting now.
Don’t misunderstand. Even this little action is complex. Buy local meat and create unemployment at the big corporate slaughterhouses. Once again, the owners will skate while the rank and file suffer. The issue needs careful study. Keep in mind, the federal government can’t help. The president issued a defense decree and the workers said, “yeah, we won’t be doing that.” You can’t order people to die.
That’s enough for a Sunday afternoon. We should all be relaxing.
The picture. I saw that bike bell. It looked cool to me so I made three pictures. This is one of them. I brought out the color a little, But that’s about it. It is that time of year when bike rides are better.
Another test. This one should link to a YouTube video.