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

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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.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Hotel Vail, Pueblo, Colorado

Wouldn't you rather stay here than at the Hampton Court up on the Interstate?
All over North America we seem to have given up on our beautifully built downtowns. Downtowns speak of civic values, most essentially the value of citizens getting out of their cars & super-sized trucks (I know, this is a truck blog) and walking around, getting business done while rubbing shoulders with fellow citizens.
All over the West, US and Canada, town after town, there are abandoned Main Streets, lined with wonderful buildings that have been neglected, abandoned and replaced by those dispiriting, could-be-anywhere landscapes of corporate commercialism out by the Interstate. (Not really replaced, because something essential has been lost in the transition: a built landscape that created and reflected community).
See these posts for field notes on a few other ex-downtowns: http://autoliterate.blogspot.com/2013/11/main-street-council-grove-kansas.html
http://autoliterate.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-mineral-palace-heidi-julavits-pueblo.html
It's strange how the American notion of patriotism, as generally accepted, doesn't seem to have much to do with love of the actual, physical landscape of our country. "Patriotism" has somehow, weirdly become  more connected to gun-worship more than to love of the actual American land.
How much damage has the Interstate System done to the actual physical fabric of the United States? There are benefits, I know, to those I-highways, but one could make a case that our country has been mortally damaged by the interstate system, which has contributed in a large way to the shredding of communities, which is at least partly responsible for the mood of desperation in the American heartland. It's that mood of despair that created the perilous situation we find ourselves in, with an anomic, nihilistic real estate developer as President of the United States.

"The Vail Hotel was built in 1911. The Housing Authority purchased the building in 1979. After extensive remodeling, keeping its historic features, it was first occupied in 1984.
This housing complex is for the elderly/disabled. It features easy access to the HARP, Union Avenue shopping district, El Pueblo Museum, Senior Resources Development Center, and Memorial Hall."


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