I was walking down the sidewalk the other day when I had a minor epiphany (very minor — only I could have such a pathetic epiphany) — it occurred to me that, all things considered, this isn’t a bad place to live. You wouldn’t know it from my maunderings, of course: I’ve ranted at length about the misdirected cleverness of the shadowy figures that make incomprehensible decisions about parking, I’ve whined about the brain trust that spends money on technology that isn’t needed and is rarely used properly (here, here, here and here — obsession is rarely healthy and never pretty); I’ve complained about the questionable judgment of elected officials that apparently make planning decisions by listening to the voices in their heads. Despite all that there’s still a lot of good stuff hereabouts; you just have to look for it.
So I was looking for good stuff while I was walking down the sidewalk, wearing the black hat that I don’t believe in, reflecting on the words of several of the world’s notable thinkers. And I found some: I found a tree beside a church. It’s a very nice church as churches go, but the relevent thing was the tree — it’s the only place in the world that I’ve ever seen a bird in an ancient Greek hat. (Who knew that giant woodpeckers were Presbyterian?) That day the tree was unoccupied but it still made me smile. (Add one to the Good Stuff column.) It also marked my destination: it’s directly across the street from an art gallery.
I was going there to pick up a something I had left to be framed. (I found it in the park. Parks with nice ladies brandishing art is something else for the Good Stuff list.) I picked up my picture and went back to the street. The first thing I did was check for noisy birds. Nope — still none. The second thing I did was check out the display window next to the gallery; it had a pair of black leather thigh-high lace-up boots with five inch stiletto heels. They frightened me. They’d frighten anyone.
It occurred to me that that’s another good thing: the ability to watch entertaining birds, acquire beautiful art and shop for terrifying footwear in the same city block, well, that’s the way city planning should work.