The Best Thing That Happened This Week: Philadelphia’s Streets Are Made of … Wood?
So you think nothing could be more solid than the earth beneath your feet, right? And then somebody who lives near the 400 block of Reed Street, where the city’s laying down new asphalt, notices that the old paving stones don’t really look like stones — that, in fact, they’re blocks of wood, weathered and worn and creosoted but unmistakably vegetative. And that gets you thinking about all the layers of the city, the cisterns and creek beds and ash dumps and your grandfather’s old house on Morris Street with the privy in the backyard, and the graveyards and burial grounds and how cemeteries really are cities for the dead. And that reminds you: No matter how high we build our shiny new towers, they stand atop the bones and dirt and broken crockery of someone else’s shiny new dream. Which, as the leaves turn and the wind blows chill, is worth remembering.
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