2.12.2004

tonight my ride home took a very similar path to last night
the single speed is growing to be a good fit
the curbs and the stairs are more natural
still no air
but when was there ever any air?
those big wheels like to roll
and my body likes to stay on the ground

as I pedaled about my mind wandered
my memory told me of old routes now unavailable
national security is one thing
construction is another
the roads downtown have changed
don't expect to ride or drive on the roads directly in front of the White House
Jersey Barriers and crossing guards with bullet proof vests and glocks; one in the chamber /17 in the clip;

so I spun down memory lane with no set route
just a basic direction
take whichever path is flowing
whichever lights are green
go where there is the least resistance
always modifying the course
it can be fun just let "the journey be the destination"
as I meandered about the business district past the Federal buildings towards the mall I witnessed before me that the city has changed
and keeps changing
and not entirely for the better
not at all for the better

I am not historian
but it seems to me that when Pierre L'Enfant designed the mall
it was designed, mapped out, a scale model was crafted, and the actual building process went on from there
there was to be green space outlined by trees and surrounded by buildings
I have felt like a small figurine under one of those trees
not in this time
but in a past time on a conference room table as Pierre sold a room full of men wearing powder coated wigs on his ideas
well
there are more and more buildings
and now more and more monuments that he had ever planned
(Vietnam, then Korean War, now WWII)
there are also subways, buses, and lots of cars
and then some more cars
then maybe one or two horse drawn carriages
these monuments and buildings are taking up more and more of the green space
areas that were once great vistas of the Washington Monument or the Lincoln Memorial are obstructed
enough is enough
we need the MALL ANNEX II
no more memorial
no more museums
the National Museum of the Native American blocks what was a wonderful view of the Capitol from Independence
sure it is a great looking building, but could it not have been great looking our near Dulles Airport?
or maybe underground with just a few hidden trap door enterances
afterall...we don't want natural light on art or artifacts

the 4th of July use to be a great time for set a blanket out on the grass for a picnic
well if you can find any
more paved trails
more paths
more monuments
more visitors centers
again less is more
less is more attractive
less is more sensible

but those with a concrete vision have never biked on the mall
never had a date with carry out chinese food on the mall
never thrown a frisbee on the mall
never attended a protest, a ralley, or a quasi-political concert on the mall
never hooked up beneith a tree on the mall
they may see the mall as a photo op when in town from Kansas
but the mall is more than that
it is a place to fly kites
to play kick ball
to toss a frisbee
or even ride your bike


SAVE THE MALL

NPS: The Mall

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