Looking Forward by Ted Bellamy

Columnist Ted Bellamy
Columnist Ted Bellamy

A bit of an introduction-

Like the character created by his more famous relative Edward Bellamy, Ted lay down to take a nap, and woke up in a very different world. In Ted’s case, he went to sleep in a quiet suburban hamlet in 1961, and awakened, 39 years later, in a bustling hub of one of the largest urban centers in the world.

Unlike Edward’s character, Ted didn’t wake up in Utopia, exactly, but he soon realized that 99% of the people in the United States and the world would happily trade places with him. Where Edward looked backward to see how paradise had come to pass, Ted brings his mid-20th century perspective to bear on the quandries of the 21st century.

Culver City Crossroads is pleased to debut Looking Forward

by Ted Bellamy

(with apologies to great-great-Uncle Edward)

The first thing I noticed was all the cars. So many of them, most with only one occupant, though they look like breakfast nooks on wheels. Since the streets are all packed when those cars are in motion, I wondered what happens when they all try to park

As it turns out, that’s one of the biggest problem in this new century. A huge game of musical chairs, played with automobiles and parking places. People circle their neighborhoods when they get home from work, businesses lose money because potential customers can’t park within walking distance. And everyone is very crabby about it.

What are we to do? First, let’s look at the components of the problem.

Unlike when I went to sleep, there’s no longer any such thing as “free parking,” at least not in an urban area like ours. There are simply more cars than parking spaces. If you think you’ve got free parking, one of two things is happening – either you’re paying in ways you’re not accounting for, or someone else is covering for you.

That means that none of us has an inherent right to park a car anywhere but on our own property. A visitor from Woodland Hills every right to park her car in front of my home.

So the guests coming to your house for Mothers’ Day brunch steal the spots I needed for MY guests. And the florist down the street can’t sell us flowers for the table because your guests and mine can’t pop in to buy them.

That’s a problem. Tune in next time for some solutions.

If you are unfamiliar with “Looking Backward” by Edward Bellamy, ask the Information Desk at the Culver City Julian Dixon Library, and they will point you the right direction.

www.culvercitysymphony.org

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