Yes, the road.

Yes, the road.
Eagle Nest, New Mexico. “People like to drive because driving is actually and symbolically an almost perfect mechanism for escape…there is probably no human being who does not have troubles, real or imagined, from which he at times feels the need to flee.” George R. Stewart.

PHB

My photo
Brooklin, Maine, United States
We own a 1975 GMC Sierra Grande 15 in Maine and a 1986 Chevrolet Custom Deluxe 10 in West Texas. Also a pair of 1997 Volvo 850 wagons. Average age in the fleet is 28 years--we're recycling. I've published 3 novels: THE LAW OF DREAMS (2006), THE O'BRIENS (2012), and CARRY ME (2016). Also 2 short story collections: NIGHT DRIVING(1987) and TRAVELLING LIGHT (2013). More of my literary life is at www.peterbehrens.org I was a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study for 2012-13. I'm an adjunct professor at Colorado College and in the MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte. In 2015-16 I was a Fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The Autoliterate office is in Car Talk Plaza in Harvard Square, 2 floors above Dewey Cheatem & Howe. SUBSCRIBE TO THE AUTOLITERATE DAILY EMAIL by hitting the button to the right.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Downtowns (Helena, Montana)

At Autoliterate we yearn for the downtown experience. 'Downtown' these days---does that word have any suggestive zing, other than in NYC, where it implies the varied regions below 14th Street? Hell, Burlington VT used to have a lively mixed-up downtown, most of it along Church Street. Montreal had a hell of a downtown along rue Ste-Catherine. Portland, Maine's downtown was Congress Street. Thousands of towns from Nova Scotia to California once had lively downtowns; most are decrepit now. Partly due to changing technology, partly due to some terrible planning decisions-or more often, lack of planning decisions. We need to reinvigorate these districts somehow. Not just turn them into dubious "arts districts" or tourist zones.  Helena Montana had a downtown in the Fifties. Thanks to Larry Nordell for passing along the photo.

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