Simplicity in the City
There are many benefits of bicycling (click here for 40 examples...number 10 is my favorite), but one of the most overlooked, I think, is that when you bike (or walk...especially walk) you see things and notice things that would be imposable to see in a car. I had my camera with me today on my ride to the gym...so here's a couple things I saw (keep in mind this is the inner city...not a big city, but still an urban environment). The most obvious example of beauty in a city like Buffalo is it's Victorian architecture...the city is loaded with it...many visitors walk around in awe when they first visit here. But one of the things that I enjoy most are the little nooks and crannies of rural patches and glimpses of nature that you may find in any city. The first photo is of a little hidden path to a carriage house that I pass almost daily...and this is only a short distance from a major commercial intersection. Then, just a few doors away, as I was getting on my bike and attempting to pedal away, a rabbit hopped across the sidewalk in front of me. The second photo is it hiding amongst some plants. To see more on foliage in Buffalo (wild and manicured) see this link. The last photo is probably my favorite. I did not take it, and unfortunately I can't remember where I downloaded it to give credit (I think it may have been from the website of Buffalo Rising...but I'm not entirely sure). Anyhow, it's a picture of an abandoned housing project on Buffalo's East Side. The really interesting thing is the deer grazing in the foreground...it sort of reminds me of a scene from the Terry Gilliam Film, 12 Monkeys. This scene is actually a common one in many rust belt cities impoverished neighborhoods...it's as if the city itself regresses and becomes feral...there's a name for it actually...urban prairie (for more urban prairie pictures of Buffalo, click here). Some people, I'm sure, may find this a little dismal...I don't, I find it beautiful...though we, as a city, have inherited a few "rust belt issues," we are a proud and thriving city (hey we're an All America City...whatever the hell that means)....click here, here, here, here, and here if you'd like a few examples. Anyhow, I just love the little things that you see when walking or riding a bike that you'd probably miss while you were stuck in traffic in a car...click on a picture for a larger view.