Club Soda and Salt

No more stains

Listen to the horn go beep beep beep as we travel near and far

Posted by clubsodaandsalt on June 3, 2008

I’ve been here all of a month, but I’m as comfortable as ever. And I have observations!

The biggest change in my life — aside from increased burrito consumption — has been the acquisition of a car. You see, J and I were lucky enough to find an apartment that included a parking space. Since apartments are hotly contested here, we had to agree to rent the space along with the place. Once that sunk cost had been accepted, it was really a hop skip and jump (to the San Bruno Honda!) to tripling it with car payments, insurance, and the like.

Understand that this tore me up inside, and that I continue to feel liberal guilt about it everyday. As you’ll note from my links, I am an avid reader of Streetsblog, mouthpiece of the car-trodden cyclist, fighter of motorheads everywhere, and dogged promoter of congestion pricing. But hey, I don’t use it to commute, so that makes it a little better, right? And besides, it’s a hybrid! I hear they clean the air as you drive.

It’s weird, though. Here I am in San Francisco, surrounded by organic toothpaste and vegan chorizo and composting and more locally grown organic food than you can shake a cup of fair trade mocha at, and yet it would appear that driving is acceptable. Buy a hybrid in New York (a city that refuses to put out any recycling cans), and people look at you with a mixture of pity and disdain (and groan audibly). Buy a hybrid out here, and people cheer – no, really, they literally say “YAY!” and congratulate you — for becoming part of America’s addiction to the automobile. I don’t understand it.

Despite this, I feel guilty. Guess I’ll soothe myself with a donation to Transportation Alternatives. Ah, that hit the spot.

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