I love cities. My favorites are steeped in history and made for walking like European cities. The French Quarter of New Orleans is similar to European cities, which are built around population centers. But the U.S. has only a few cities like this, older cities whose foundations were built long before the invention of the car and its cousin-by-necessity, the highway.
The French Quarter of New Orleans is one such walkable city. In the video below, you’ll get a sense of that, in addition to viewing some stunning architecture.
Densely packed, everything about the French Quarter in New Orleans is in service to people. Needs are filled within a few short blocks. There’s commotion and energy that gives the sense that, for better or worse, we’re all in this day-to-day living thing together.
We keep our eyes focused straight ahead, or down, but we rarely look up; streets are canyon bottoms, and there isn’t all that much sky to see anyway. And because we refer only to our immediate surroundings, our senses suggest to us that we are the center of the universe.
I love wilderness, too. Every color our eyes can process finds a natural home in the landscapes. It’s possible to listen and hear… nothing. Little stands between us and the elements–sun, rain, wind. We hike across, over and under ecosystems more varied and vital than any city can ever be. And these great expanses remind us that we are mere mortals, and we are not the center of the universe.
BADGE WORK UPDATE: ARCHITECTURE
Working on two tasks for this badge have brought my affection for cities and wilderness together, a small surprise.
In the first of these tasks, posted today, a scout is asked to walk through any community and capture examples of architecture she likes.
In a subsequent post, I’ll show what happened when I set out to capture the architectural ideas that inspire me and can inform other tasks for this badge.
For today, then…
Next week, I do a 180 on the other task for this badge as I get real with the architectural ideas that really blow my mind.
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