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Summer Crowds

I love summer.

I love summer fruit at the peak of flavor, which I purchase to be eaten by next breakfast. I love sailing on my bicycle through the heady aromas and seductive botanical pageantry along mountain roads.

I do not, absolutely do not love summer crowds.

The malls and markets of summer are flush with day shoppers, students, and tourists. People generally move in crowded places with oblivion and clumsiness, like blind cattle. Amid the chaos, I get anxious, annoyed, and soon feel exasperated and bitchy.

A few things I’d like to see more people doing in a crowd:

1) Carrying their belongings in such a way that makes their personal sphere well, not so spherical.

2) Travelling generally on the right of a path, with the swifter walkers a little further to the left.

3) Moving in such a manner that allows others to anticipate their actions, neither darting anywhere suddenly, stopping abruptly, nor weaving side to side.

4) Generally paying attention to what other people are doing. This may not only help clear up clogged areas, but also protect them from pickpockets.

I think maybe we’ve been a car culture too long to have much common sense about this issue. But as our country graduates more architects and civic designers interested in creating attractive public spaces, this apparent lack of crowd sense is something that I’d like to see addressed more often.

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