As the front wheel of my scooter sank into the pothole, the rattling inside my helmet was loud and from the corner of my eye I watched in slow motion as my phone flew off into the air, landing on the asphalt to its catastrophic demise. This was the beginning of my long weekend that was meant to catch up with friends I hadn’t seen in months. All I can say is how in the world did we ever manage without cell phones?
The speed of life keeps gaining momentum with every new technological advancement. There is a small allowance for time to reply to an email, but texts require immediate replies. The earbuds that allow you to bring the world along on your bike rides, walks and hikes and even into the classrooms. The Bluetooth that turns your car into your office and finally that laptop you snuggle with inside your tent at the top of the world watching Sopranos reruns.
We call this progress. But who am I to talk? My cell stays on through the night next to my head. You never know who needs to buy a home at 2 a.m. – I’m kidding, but with aging parents and a child away at college in another country, you never know who actually has an emergency.
In all of COVID-19’s evilness, it did bring us something we all wish we had bought stock in early on: Zoom. It revolutionized our conversations, relationships and even the way we dress above the waist. But it also gave us a glimpse into each other’s homes and personal lives. When something becomes a verb, you know it’s here to stay. I did get a new phone, with a protective case now, but those potholes aren’t going away anytime soon.
Technology is also what makes our restaurant patios fun to hang out in. The city and its business partners are still trying to settle on what constitutes “amplified sound.” Any music that isn’t coming from an acoustic instrument or a voice, anything that needs to be plugged in is considered amplified, but imagine a patio without music. Eight permits per restaurant is nowhere enough. But does every place actually use outdoor music? And why couldn’t businesses along 38th have an exception with music allowed every night? Audacity brought in a piano player, but that’s indoors. Clancy’s has amazing bands that pull the crowds in. I wonder if just like we have different district needs, we can also differentiate those businesses along 38th.
Finally, a future story to follow about local schools straying from the rule of not poaching students from each other: With dropping enrollment and threats of school closures, get ready for a battle between tradition and innovation right here in our town. But for now, as always, thanks for reading.
Contact Neighborhood Gazette Publisher Guy Nahmiach at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-999-5789.