Measured Extravagance

15 April 2003 - 8:26 a.m.

There's an entry at "Does He Ever Shut Up?" that's generated some interesting comments on (among other things) living preferences and consumerism. I'm cross-posting some of my own thoughts here:

I love my food processor and piano and laptop. None of which I consider essential, but I don't miss the days of waiting for a practice room or an available public terminal, and it's fair to say there's plenty of recipes and culinary experiments I wouldn't be messing with if I were back to using my desk as my kitchen counter.

So far, I've found that I miss my former salary the most (1) when I'd like to attend a concert or event but can't spare the cash, and (2) when I want to check out a book or journal not stocked by our library. (It's actually a great library, and there are plenty of classics I ought to be reading anyway, but, still.)

I don't want to live anywhere with pop. < 500K, so I don't see myself as a "villager" - but to me, a great city is one where it is possible to walk from the bus or subway stop to decent dim sum and funky galleries and bookstores with resident cats. (Nashville hasn't gotten there yet, but I do have hope. I can walk to the post office and library and an organic grocery and several decent restaurants...)

At the same time, I'm not dead-set against big mall globs or those fast-food/motel strips in the middle of nowhere - in fact, I'm pretty grateful they exist when I go on long road trips. It's not that I don't have issues with how ugly they are or how they sprawl, but neither do I see them as inherently evil or undesirable.

But this is veering well away from the original article and post - I do agree that things are unbelievably fucked up when the systems cast retail vs. residential development an either-or. (Though I do also wonder how much of this situation is actually systemic and how much of it is career blockheadedness on the part of said officials.)

And speaking of walking to the post office, I need to seal up my 1040 and a couple of submission packets and send them on their ways. So, later.

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