Sunday, August 17, 2014
The horrific scenes of civilians confronted by military might on a suburban Main Street have shocked us all. We didn't know that the military had given weapons of war to local police departments all across the nation. And we didn't know the next images of war we'd see would be on our own Main Streets. It's bad to see these horrors in Gaza or Iraq -- but Ferguson is Home! It seems to me, from looking at Main Streets over the past 6 years, that actually Main Street is where strange shifts pop up. It is the center of the city and things can't float around in the culture without bobbing up on Main Street. This is a thought I call "Main Street Beach." When I told Tony Hiss, the great writer about place, that I thought Main Street was a beach, he said, "I've thought the same thing." I pulled out my father's book, Homeboy Came to Orange: A Story of People's Power, and found good advice: University of Orange. A group of us started the University of Orange so that the people's voices could be heard in making the future city. I learned from urbanist Michel Cantal-Dupart that we create the city we want by finding the intersection of REASON, MEMORY and IMAGINATION.