Only on Vashon – The Weekly Rundown 01/21/2024

We start with this request:

One person reacts by saying, “No. I’m leaving on. My car my choice 😀

How does the original poster react to this joke? By accusing the commenter of using drugs, of course. Or, in their own, somewhat garbled words, “you can leave your lights on. I have never done it but I hear that “Meth” kind of reduces your ability to be a norma (sic) and have compassion for someone other than yourself.”

Yes, nothing says compassion like assuming anyone who disagrees with you must be on drugs. 

It’s an especially weird accusation on account that meth dilates your pupils and makes your eyes more light sensitive, so you’d think someone on meth would want to turn their headlights off. Also, googling meth’s effects on your eyes immediately pulled up a helpline number, and now I’m probably on a government watch list. Considering how a simple cup of coffee intensifies my anxiety and makes me shake, I think if I ever tried meth, every molecule of my body would vibrate at such a frenetic speed that I would come unstuck from this dimension. To be fair, if that happened, I wouldn’t be able to turn my headlights off. 

Our local culture is to assume the absolute worst of anyone who commits a minor parking infraction, and we continue the tradition with this complaint about parking at IGA, along with the following pictures. 

The IGA parking lot has such a backwards layout. Maybe these people are parking where the lines should be. They are leading the way into a new and better future where the parking lot lines get repainted at a different angle. 

Our solution to the problem of bad parking? Tear down the entire downtown area and redo it. Our resident armchair architect has this suggestion: “that whole lot needs to be redone, along with rerouting through-traffic from town so that main street is a pedestrian street, maybe a roundabout and a pedestrian stop light or two.” 

When asked how that would work out, they elaborate: “I think the Bank could be incorporated into a two story structure housing the offices of the “Modi/Cunningham” building along with the senior center, which is notable for having inadequate wiring and being a former library. Get the Accountants on the far corner as well and you have plenty of room for a town center/community building AND a pedestrian through-fare. Oh and Pure could get a bigger space in the deal. Why not?” They add, “also, the whole strip mall with SAW, Cafe Luna, bike shop, credit union and offices could be moved. That parking lot is inadequate and dangerous.”

So, we tear down two blocks of buildings. Turn the Modi into a high rise, hopefully adding an elevator since the senior center will be in the penthouse, and create a roundabout that circles town. I’m not sure where Cafe Luna, SAW and Pure go in this vision. Maybe a second highrise? Also, does the roundabout encircle the pedestrian only zone, and if so, how do the pedestrians get there?                              

If people doubt this is possible, the commenter says, “Napoleon ripped apart whole neighborhoods to make the boulevards and Robert Moses did the same to NYC…why wait?”

I like the idea of large public works that improve lives and safety. I’m just having trouble imagining this happening on Vashon, especially when this is the state of our public infrastructure:

Anna Shomsky
Author: Anna Shomsky

I'm a former teacher and a data engineer living on Vashon Island. My writing has appeared in Five on the Fifth, Women on Writing and on the Post-Culture Podcast. I wrote and produced the radio show Whispers of Vashon for 101.9 KVSH. I’ve had short stories published in the anthologies Island Stories and Chicken Scratchings, as well as through the Open Space Literary Project.

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