Saturday, November 28, 2009
These photos were taken in front of the Metropolitan Storage Warehouse in Cambridge, Mass., which is a local landmark of sorts and has been functioning since 1917.
We do not usually have a good reason to visit this area, but I was intrigued by the Vassar Street bike path controversy that I had read about on Chic Cyclist and I wanted to show it to the Co-Habitant. To summarise, the Vassar Street path is criticised because it is "European style" - running mostly on the sidewalk and therefore conflicting with both pedestrian traffic and with the cars that frequently pull in and out of the various parking lots that cross the path. Compared to what I had been expecting, the path is actually not so bad in person. In fact, it is set up like a typical bike path in Vienna. The main issue is that cyclists must keep to a fairly low speed in order to ride on the path safely during peak traffic times - and Americans are simply not used to cycling at such low speeds and continue to ride at a brisk pace.
I am not certain what my stance is on the Vassar Street critique; it is a complicated issue. But I do enjoy cycling through the MIT/ Cambridgeport neighborhood during non-traffic hours. When these streets are empty, I feel that the personalities of all the warehouses and industrial sites and contemporary constructions really come out, and the abandoned urban landscape becomes "communicative". Is it all in my head? Maybe so. But that does not make the experience any less interesting.