river currents

I think I started this entry last November on the streets of Denver, Colorado. I had come to the conclusion that my life was way too hectic for me to manage in my current mind state and that trying to manage the madness in “mountain time” was equally as ridiculous. So I’m walking the streets of mile high city and I see a ne’re-do-well couple having an intense argument. It was the kind of argument that made me stop and worry because it looked like it could get violent….. but in my distant and silent anticipation…they were dysfunctionally picture perfect…on mute…they were in the heart of the city quietly and verbally pushing and pulling amidst columns and amphitheatres, and monoliths.

It made me think.….How do we design public spaces?

Do we design for breakups? Do we design for mid-day lunches?… for siestas?….for lunches when she said yes to eat with you outside, and the other person you only invited as a buffer unexpectedly cancelled?… Do we design for chance encounters? Do we design for the “good and the bad”… ?

I walked 4.2 miles last night in my meandering trek home… it was just too nice outside to not keep walking…to not keep moving. I walked across the Sousa Bridge, the Anacostia River breathing heavily below. I stopped midway to look into the black. I noticed, as always, that there are granite benches carved into the bridge, but they face inward… why would I want to look at traffic? I want to look at the river… to feel its pulse and know that it is the life blood of the city that I just traversed….

Can I design for that?

For that late night Anacostia River walk on a unexpectedly warm day in Washington…. for my 21-year old Italian past that slept along the Tiber?…. for an honest early morning reflection of an amazing yesterday while on the shores of the Charles?

Can I design my life to flow with my rivers?

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