Saturday, July 17, 2021

Saturday, Three Ways

I’m having way too much fun not making up my mind what to write about this morning. So let’s just do it all.

First off, thanks to all of the input about the location of the new courthouse. To all of those who are telling me that the location has always been in Ellicott City, I say: are you sure?

I’d love someone from the County to rise up out of the mist and explain this but I suppose it’s my responsibility to go and ask. We’ll see how that goes.

As to the new courthouse, I was out yesterday doing that practice-driving thing with my daughter and our route took us that way. It struck me as having a bit of that Columbia “joy of discovery” feeling. You wind around what feels like a rather unassuming stretch of road and then: boom. There it is in all its glory.

Over on Twitter today the term to search is Ellicott City. The pictures and videos that come up are of Germany. Why? Because recent flooding in Germany looks very much like the floods in Ellicott City. There’s quite the conversation going on about climate change and the generally slow response to it, even as we experience calamitous weather events around the world. Locally,  County Council member Liz Walsh and State Delegate Courtney Watson are celebrating the replacement of some impervious pavement with the environmentally-friendly pervious kind. Every little bit helps.

Finally, more musings from my recent driving adventures. We have graduated from parking lots to cul-de-sacs. Columbia has scads of them. If you think that living in a quiet cul-de-sac protects you from random, drive-by visits, I’ve got disappointing news for you: we’ll probably be driving by in the near future.

I’ve had plenty of time to observe those little islands that sometimes come with cul-de-sacs. Some are beautifully planted, some have park benches or even picnic tables. Some look overgrown and forbidding. I suppose it has to do with the people who live there and how much they want to make something of it. 

At some point there was a HoCoBlog called “Live from the Cul-de-Sac.” Does anyone remember? I think it’s a fabulous blog title.

There’s an entire entry on Wikipedia about cul-de-sacs, pros and cons. I found the section entitled “Suburban Use and Benefits” fascinating. But don’t stop there. Continue on to the Criticism and Discussion section. I found the suggestion that real estate delvelopers favor cul-de-sacs because they allow  them to fit more houses on oddly-shaped pieces of land an interesting one. Does this mean that if one opposes housing density one should oppose cul-de-sacs? Or, conversely, pro-density advocates support them? 

As always, I’m sure it’s far more complicated than that.

I guess I’ve always thought of cul-de-sacs as passé, an old-school suburban device that has passed its prime. They are hallmarks of a car-centric culture, although, in Columbia they are offset by pathways and tot lots which encourage walking, biking, and outdoor play. I’d love you know your opinion of cul-de-sacs. Are they great the way they are? Could we improve them?

Let me know.


Out and About:  Chrysalis Kids: Marsha and the Positrons (Free) 

Sunday, July 18, 2021

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Chrysalis, 10431 Little Patuxent Parkway Columbia, MD 21044 

Event Description: Our FREE family concerts start with a fun mix of science and art!  Marsha and the Positrons are a DC-based kindie (kids + indie rock) band known for shows that are a ton of family-friendly fun! Both playful and educational, our original songs about science and how the world works are entertaining for adults as well as kids. Besides getting audiences singing along and dancing to songs that inspire curiosity about science, we play traditional favorites, kid-appropriate pop covers and parodies. Our goal is to send families home with smiles on their faces, plant the seeds for good conversations, and share our positive energy with the audience!

Gates open at 3:30 p.m. for playtime with Imagination Playground, and the performance starts at 4:00 p.m. Beverages will be available for sale, but feel free to bring a picnic (no glass or alcohol - alcohol available onsite).

Tickets available here.

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