Surrounded by cats

I’m back in Kentucky, waiting for Morgan to finish (online) work so we can go and eat as much unhealthy food as possible. After much faffery, and being stuck in the lost city of Atlanta for a while longer than anticipated, we didn’t make it to Richmond until about 7am UK time, so it’s taken us a while to get going today. We had a lovely welcome from Snowy, everyone’s favourite blind dog harpy, and the cats seem to have forgiven our long absence.

Driving across Kentucky last night, drifting in and out of sleep, was wonderfully surreal. The English motorway system may be beautiful and strange, but it’s got nothing on the Kentucky equivalent – an endless tangle of neon signs, endless parking lots and enormo-churches. Towns merge into an endless strip of malls and drive-through banks. The triumph of the automobile has made a beautiful country so ugly – but it’s very hard to imagine what a post-automobile America will look like.

In my head, it features the return of the bustling downtown, cycle paths, a decent rail network, and the occasional cheeky monorail.

Get to it, Obama.

~ by jamboshoeshine on December 15, 2009.

4 Responses to “Surrounded by cats”

  1. I’d completely forgotten you were going to Kentucky. Hope your return flights aren’t booked on BA, with its workforce of dangerous Bolshevik militants.

    In other news, I just discovered one of the recent arrivals at the Star is seeing a girl from Indianapolis who lives/lived/hangs out all the time/something like that in Bloomington. Clearly it’s where all the cool kids go these days.

    • Not on British Airways, not that I’ve begrudge them their glorious right to strike even if I was.

      Bloomington is actually pretty cool – it has some good restaurants, and good gig venues. Certainly the best place in the otherwise cultural wasteland that is Indiana

      • I’ll ask what her name is. Morgan must know her, right? I understand there are about six people in Bloomington, and they’re mostly cousins. Or spouses. Or both.

        On your actual serious point: most American towns I’ve been to (which is not admittedly very many) have left me thinking “well, that’s OK but I’d have liked to see it 50 years ago”. Danbury CT is one such place – you can kinda make out the ghostly outlines of the old downtown, but these days it’s all boarded-up shopfronts and regularly-robbed liquor stores and a car park where the town square ought to be. Still, it’s a damn sight easier to restore a decent downtown (Memphis is working on it) than to get back, say, a train network that wouldn’t shame a Third World country.

        Speaking of which, Memphis has trams! TRAMS! Well, one tram. And it only goes about 200 yards. But it’s a proper rattly old wooden one with a string to pull when it’s your stop. For my money that’s as good as a monorail.

  2. There’s apparently a mooted scheme to link Louisville, Lexington, Richmond and Cincinatti by a light railway transit. Ie TRAM. Unfortunately I doubt it’ll ever escape the chin-scratching moot stage – which is a shame, because it’d make this whole area actually navigable for people who don’t like cars.

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