30 May 2008

Give Up the Bat Cave

I think it is an inherently American desire to park your car in your house. This garage archetype is often made fantasy in movies with pod-bay doors, shuttle craft, and even the Bat Cave.

Now there are perfectly pragmatic reasons to want to keep your car under a roof. There may even be a reason to park it inside your house. But what I am talking about is the desire to see the world from behind a windshield, then immediately escape from the street directly into the hidden safety of the cave. In this situation, the front door, your door to the neighborhood is kept shut.

A few weeks ago, Krista Ramsey had a short article in the Enquirer about why she takes the bus, and it basically said that being outside for a couple blocks between work and the bus stop connected her better with the city. The shortest of walks and entering through the front doors of the office was much more rewarding than zooming directly from home to office. And I couldn't agree more.

If you move downtown, and have money, you can buy or rent a place with your own bat cave. But it is unnecessary in my opinion. Sometimes that walk from car or bus to your front door is a hassle. Sometimes someone asks your for change, or you may get wet in the rain. But the urban experience primarily happens on the sidewalk. Why avoid it? Why live in a city if you don't walk it?

You may step out your door tomorrow, and meet the mayor, or you may meet a guy dressed in a clown suit. Each day brings a new surprise, each walk is full of happenstance. That is why we live here.


Radarman said...

After thirty one years as a homeowner with no bat cave I finally got one as part of the deal with my superurban fully attached rowhouse, and you know what? I love it. I don't have to use the car that much living so close to work, but when I do, I love getting into a warm, ice-free car. I do. I'm not ashamed.

CityKin said...

Hey I wouldn't mind one too, but I am trying to break this mental barrier that keeps some potential newcomers from taking the plunge into downtown living. It's not the end of the world to park outside, even on the street.

But aren't you just a little ashamed at the luxury of it all?;)

Julie said...

I have a garage spot-- got it after that whole run in with the guy with the gun in November. I like the convenience of not having to dig out my car from the snow, for example, but I still make my rounds walking around the city.