Saturday, November 10, 2007

Why I love my hometown/Why I hate my hometown

Although I write to you now from San Diego, I spent the majority of my childhood in a place called Davis.

I love Davis. It was an incredible place to grow up. Being the bike capital of the world, housing more bikes than people even, it was a great place to not have your driver's license. One could get nearly anywhere by bike, often not even traveling the bike lanes on the roads, but instead taking one of the many greenbelts that traverse the city.

Part of the reason that Davis is so bike friendly is because it is flat. Dead flat. The only hills are overpasses. R, a San Diego native, considers this flatness to be a great detractor. I, on the other hand, feel the flatness makes it easier to see great distances. Unlike in San Diego, the Davis sky is wide and dark at night, allowing one to clearly see the stars. Part of this is due to special street lights designed to reduce light pollution, since the Wiccans wanted to see the stars. They certainly had a direct line to the mayoral office, seeing as we had, for a long while, a lesbian Wiccan mayor. My dad secretly voted for her. My mom was very angry when B and I finally told her, even though the vote was many years past and my parents had been long divorced.

On the other hand, Davis does suck somewhat. Davis is so liberal that it is conservative. As tends to happen on the extreme ends of the political spectrum, people with differing views are ridiculed and scorned. Discussion (real discussion, not just voicing one's opinion and then ignoring what the other person has to say), compromise, finding common ground--these things just don't happen. If my mother didn't have tenure at her old school, the principal probably would have fired her for daring to voice her opinion that perhaps a video showing all the different sorts of families (hetero parents, single parents, gay parents) shouldn't be shown to kindergartners and it should instead be the parents job to talk with their children about such things when they feel it is appropriate. I'm not saying that I necessarily agree with her opinion, but she should still be allowed to express it without fear of repercussions. Even though there is a moderate population of people who are of a political preference other than Democrat, one does not voice such opinions in Davis unless you know your audience very well.


Rachel said...

I would truly love to live in a place where you could manage without having a drivers license. Or a car, for that matter.

Teacher Anonymous said...

It was pretty awesome when I was young. Once I was old enough that my parents would trust me to be safe on my own, I was able to just bike home across town after school, instead of going to daycare. I also had the freedom to go to the art center, the science center, or the library whenever I wanted. It was very nice.