Thursday, July 23, 2009

daily snapshot: take the plunge

'K-Town,' Summit at Knowles, Kensington (Cropped)
'K-Town,' the makeshift skate park in Kensington.

For someone who's deathly afraid of stepping on a skateboard, I write about skating a lot. The urban planner or, rather, anti-planner in me finds the sport intoxicating: you're taking things that were assigned one use (a bench, a front walk, a swimming pool) and giving it another, adding a whole new layer of meaning to the urban realm. At a time when public funds aren't available for anything, a group of kids can build a skate park in an empty parking lot and maintain it themselves.

I find that inspiring, in the same way that I enjoy food trucks and punk houses and "the Turf." These are small moves, made by one or a few individuals (and in the case of "the Turf," the County) that didn't require years of analysis and debate yet provide a tangible benefit to many people. (Many, not all. Not everyone wants to live next to a rolling restaurant with questionable sanitation or a house whose main export is noise.) You can better your community, be it skaters or punks or hungry office workers.

All you have to do is take the plunge. I mean, the economy's in the toilet, so if you fall, you don't have far to go.

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