Category Archives: Musings

Restoring Faith in Humanity

A secondary hope I had for this trip is that it would restore some of my faith in humanity.  After living for nearly a decade in Baltimore City, where the worst of people is on display for all to see daily, I had gown cynical.  I wanted to see people who were living creatively and full of life, not overwhelmed by programming and addictions.

I have found some of what I was looking for in the West.  It started in Texas with its independent spirit and gumption. In New Mexico and Arizona I saw people living off the grid and in small make-shift communities consciously living outside of convention. Some of the residents in small desert communities made a big impression upon me.  These desert people are not consumed by pursuit of fortune, prestige or ego inflation, but seem content to live simply and cheaply in a barren yet often beautiful landscape.  Between the solitude, surroundings and simple living, they seem more connected with something and at peace.  The central coast of California, so far, is where I have encountered people most full of life and living at a higher frequency.  I couldn’t get out of southern California quick enough, a place where indulging in ego pursuits and selfishness seems extreme, but 100 miles up the coast from Santa Barbra to the north everything changes.  The central coast has to be one of the most beautiful places in the world and the people are out enjoying it.  They are active, love to get out in nature and seem to fully appreciate the beauty that surrounds them.  Smiles are frequent and civility is the norm.

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Riverwalk and Redevelopment

Few things excite me more than urban re-creation; inspiring redevelopment that attracts people to live, work and play in the city.  I am not a fan of town centers, parking structures or a new building or two.  I love to see a city take a negative, like a derelict elevated rail structure that was considered and eyesore, and turn it into a unique park that attracts new development and becomes the center of the new community, as New York has done with the Highline.

I have heard about the Riverwalk in San Antonio but did not expect a beautifully landscaped, widely varying, 10 mile walk/bike trail that is spurring redevelopment and getting people active.  The San Antonio River is really not much of a river, more like a stream, but planners are milking it to the maximum. Most people are probably more familiar with the Riverwalk downtown and the main tourist area, but the new extensions are where the real story is, in my view. 

San Antonio’s Riverwalk:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/alaynedunn/8570941976/

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