Sunday, 31 January 2021

Walkability

One of the surprises about my recent holiday was the how interesting walking about the inner west is.

Walkability1 is one of those concepts that sounds simple, and that you don't notice, until there is a large change, and then suddenly you wonder how you didn't notice it before.

There is a lot of information about walkability. A brief video about what makes a city great. And more on urban planning.

Using this map I have been staying in a Red Zone. Not walkable. My holiday was in a Green Zone. Very walkable. The difference was eye opening. I'd become habituated to blandness.

Presently, an hour fast walk is about 6km. Most of that is along a busy road. Off that I'm passing cookie cutter style housing. The type were every front yard is manicured to the peer accepted level. There are a couple of cafes along the way near a train station, but otherwise shops are clustered inside a shopping center. Blank boxes, designed to trap you inside, where the layout is confusing and disorentating. Everything planned to encourage you to buy more.

It's not very interesting walking about the suburbs.


Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Holidaying

"A change is as good as a holiday"1.

On that: I've now had a holiday. It was to have been a week, but unexpectedly extended to over two. House sitting, well, more garden sitting. Normal stuff. Water the plants. Try not to kill anything. Easy enough. I mostly succeeded. Some over 40C days and snails did in a few seedlings. Acceptable losses.

Meanwhile, I walked a lot. Checking out the sights:

I like the pictures. They are easy to relate to. Tags 2 are harder to appreciate. They are in the same group as Pollock paintings3; some people love them, but to everyone else, it is just unintelligible scribble. I'd rate tags higher than Pollock paintings. Tags I can see mean something. There are letters there to be found like a Magic Eye4 puzzle. It's a code, a language, it means something. Pollock paintings just look like scribble. Something a toddler did.

Why is one is called "art" and put on display to sell for millions, while the other is called "graffiti" and costs millions to clean off or paint over? Listen to Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History podcast Season 5, Episode 1 Dragon Psychology 101 for some ideas.