The sign about pets was taken in Phinney Ridge, and the one about children in Columbia City.
The sign about pets was taken in Phinney Ridge, and the one about children in Columbia City. Charles Mudede

Jane Jacobs famously wrote about the ballet of the sidewalk, and how urban planners should strive to make streets about people and not cars. But we often forget that her vision of street life came from an urban America that was much poorer than it is today. The city streets of those days (1950s and 1960s) were active because public life is always much cheaper than private life.

The private life was exclusive until mid-century capitalist societies mass produced it to avoid a dangerous crash in demand at the end of World War II. At that point, the private life spread from the 10 percent to the 50 percent. And in the way the shotgun shack became enlarged when the Navin's poor black family hit the jackpot in The Jerk, the mansion or chateau of aristocratic Europe shrank down to the suburban home in the prosperous post-war years. The public was abandoned in the inner city and ghettos. This is what Jane Jacobs saw and wrote about, and today urbanists celebrate its virtues without appreciating its class dimensions and history.

Those in the working classes are pressured to extend a number of domestic tasks and activities to the neighbors,
the streets, the sidewalks, the parks. The middle class can afford, for example, to raise children like the rich—privately. This is why there are almost no children on their streets. The street for them is a kind of moat. The ballet of the sidewalk in poorer neighborhoods includes children and pets.

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Washington Ensemble Theatre presents amber, a sensory installation set in the disco era
In this 30-minute multimedia experience, lights & sounds guide groups as they explore a series of immersive spaces.