|8 Blocks From City Center • Lancaster, PA • September 2015|
There are still dirt streets in Lancaster. This scene's unchanged since these small carriage houses were mildly converted for autos in the early 1920s, Here's where middle class working people keep vehicles. That's what this is. What it isn't is any sort of formal garden or the rigorous creation of inspired architects. But isn't it beautiful?
Once again, it's the ordinary detritus of humans. There's no graffiti here, nor is there any garbage or trash strewn about. The buildings are coated in protective paint. the vegetation's manicured by use. Yet isn't it beautiful?
This is a public alleyway where I bike occasionally. Anyone can abuse it. They don't. Why? Because neighbors won't allow it. Users won't allow it. Is it policed? Uh-huh, but not by the police. Is it secure? Uh-huh, but not by security forces. Conscience is an endoskeleton. Police are an exoskeleton, along with schools, courts, legislators, and churches. The more a society shares one internal culture the less any of the institutions police from outside. Political "freedom" is checked internally or externally. Freedom - in every useful way- is what culture allows.
Culture trumps everything.
The charm of this summer moment is the result of what conscience won't allow. It's what a stone looks like when the ugly stuff gets sculpted away. Isn't it beautiful?