Today’s post is by contributing writer, Lucky Sharma.
Lucky lives in two cities – San Francisco and Tempe. She’ll be sharing her observations of both cities in a series of posts about the sustainable urban lifestyle. This post will be published in two parts. If you missed part I, which was published yesterday, check it out here.
Below is part II:
My train of thought was broken by the ding-ding of a bus. I smiled because the bus reminded of the bus rides I took with my parents when I was younger, and it reminded me of how I could make friends with people that I had never met. Of course I loved all the compliments for being cute and talkative when I was a kid.
I wonder how many kids outside cities like San Francisco get to make such memories. Their world must be so limited (alas!) that they do not even know what they are missing. Communities and cities inherently make such decisions for kids by the choices they make for investment in public transportation, in developing use of community spaces and in funding public schools.
The Muni bus was connected to the overhead power lines. This means no emissions – genius! I understood why the air quality was so good. The government was setting an example through their zero emissions public transportation. It is important that governments lead by example through innovations that might not be the most economically profitable but are more sustainable in a long term.
By the time we crossed over to the other side from the park, the quaint Victorian houses started giving way to small stores with big windows, displaying cool stuff like vintage cards, hand made quilts, and baked goods. I loved how the old houses were not torn down to make big box stores. The cafes and boutique stores, even the chain restaurants like Noah’s Bagel, were an extension of the neighborhood itself in contrast to being in strip malls, which feel bad and aloof.
A few cars zipped about on the street, but I didn’t drive so I was happy that I didn’t have to worry about parking since there was hardly any street parking. All spots were metered even on a Saturday. This is what I call an “excellent disincentive to drive and also add to public development funds.”
By the time we stood in line in the small cafe called the ‘Bittersweet Cafe’ (it is closed now) my thoughts were filled with the chocolate and baked goods in front of me. When the barista called my name and I picked up my hot cup of heaven that had the light brown froth as light as the clouds and a heart made on it. My heart melted. And I was sure that even if it was just for a cup of hot coffee, it is important to save this planet.
Photo Credit: Photo by the author.Tags: families living in the city, health and fitness impact of urban living, historic preservation, lucky sharma, public green space, San Francisco, sustainable urban lifestyle