Slip ‘n Slide

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I forget sometimes, on our perfectly manicured campus, that other sidewalks are not always so well cleared.  To be fair to this patch, it wasn’t really that bad and was most likely an outlier among its surroundings because of being on a bridge.  However, it still made life interesting.  I thought I was going down at one point.

Squirrel!

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Well, this space certainly isn’t designed for you, little critter. However, you are definitely using it. More and more, the landscape is becoming decidedly urban, and it’s easy to overlook the non-human residents that also live out their lives in the same place, though perhaps using it differently.

The Classic

The Classic

It’s probably the most obvious and most overlooked aspect of the landscape and how we use it to communicate. These little signs declaring support for whatever candidate are everywhere, to the point that we don’t even really notice them anymore. We’ve gone sign blind.

Making Do

Making Do

This neighborhood was designed without thought to pedestrians. The roads are great, luxurious even, but without a single sidewalk in view, showing the supremacy of the car. Despite cars remaining the primary mode of transportation in the area, there are still those that walk… perhaps to walk a dog, or perhaps because they are poor college students doing a project. Even when the landscape isn’t suited to a specific use, people find ways to make it work, repurposing it for their own, such as by designating an overly wide curb as a sidewalk.

Self Isolation

Self Isolation

The way this house and several others around it are positioned conveys a message, or at least it did to me. It is far from the street, up a hill, with abundant lawn between it. “Stay away; this is our house, where we want to be left alone.” Or, more commonly: “Git off mah lawn!” accompanied by the shake of a cane. It’s a show of power.

A Lamp Post

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It’s a lamp post! Get it? A post about a lamp? No? Okay. Anyway, while a lamp post is a perfectly normal sight, it could bring up some interesting discussion. For instance, why was it placed there, along with its siblings? Were there safety concerns? Also, safety would have had to be more important to the residents than, say, obnoxious light pouring in the windows at night. Or perhaps the lights are always burned out, and no one cares because safety isn’t much of a concern here. And what about the aesthetic of the post? It’s a lot prettier than some. What values are at play here?