Friday, May 31, 2013

Seven Days in May

Even if reality is illusionary, fungible, and entirely contingent on apparent sensory phenomena, the Flaneur entertains the notion that if you defenestrate yourself you will still have to face the sidewalk.

How much the same it is yet how utterly odd Berkeley seems today.
So far less of what it was known for bookstores, record stores, multi-colored and gentle street life and cafes. A lot seems like college town anywhere with the new young society's skeins of communication and distraction.
A gnomic sort of economic cleansing has happened  oddly juxtaposed with the phalanx of new housing downtown, housing stocked with disadvantaged people largely from elsewhere. After all these years here the only familiar faces downtown are those who live on the street there.
The plaza downtown with its accommodating openness is in for a retrofit, one with an eye toward socially engineering the indolent and indigent who flop there by day.
Then there are the seventy thousand non-native trees that various entities has decided to eliminate from the Oakland-Berkeley hills. Gone for any reasonable future will be the forest-like wildness replaced one suspects by tastefully-designed parkland of native landscaping with poured concrete borders. In other words, it's almost impossible to imagine a result that won't equate with urbanization of the hills.
To ask again: what about the animals who live there now and depend on the trees? what about the air-cleaning activity of all those trees?

(more to follow)