Pride and the city's sidewalk
I'm walking on Bloor Street, pondering what to write about in my first blog. Heading down the street I'm forced to stare down at the sidewalk to give myself a break from the glorious sun shining in my eyes.
It sounds silly, but I love sidewalks. When traveling, some of the first details that stick with me are my first steps on new pavement. I try and take in all it's character ranging from the edging to the maker's stamp that marks the date.
Today, there is a construction crew working on Bloor Street and the sidewalk has been uprooted. This leads me to notice unpleasant details I've obviously become accustomed to, such as; lumpy asphalt patches, scattered loose bricks that once lined the sidewalks, and sandy gravel patches which seem to take on a life of their own from heavy traffic.
I think to myself who's responsible for this "finished" product? What were they thinking? Was there a breakdown somewhere between one department and another? Trying to understand, I conclude that maybe pride is lacking. I mean, where's the pride in one's work? The civic pride?
On my first trip to New York City, my friend pointed out a piece of sidewalk almost a hundred years old with her surname stamped on it. Her grandfather's company had laid that gorgeous piece of concrete and goodness was she proud. Looking around newer walks today, the stamp of the artist is rare - there is less pride, less accountability.
This is my first thought for a better city. If every individual involved in the City viewed it as something to be proud and prized, like an Antique Car in an Auto Show, where "good enough" wasn't good enough, our work and energy would really shine through and we wouldn't want to let things slide.
On my way home, I notice the work is finished. A mound of black asphalt surrounded by loose brown tiles left on a city planter, is all that's left to remind us of the day's activities and the piece of artistry that once was.