Mark Hinshaw is a retired architect and city planner who lived in Seattle for more than 40 years. For 12 years he had a regular column on architecture for The Seattle Times and later was a frequent contributor to Crosscut. He now lives in a small hill town in Italy.
These ambitious waterfront projects normally deploy the resources of large cities. Even then, as in Seattle, these efforts are littered with setbacks, political stumbles, litigation, and misguided public-sector largesse.
Although there is a modest ant-vax movement in Italy, it doesn’t seem to feed itself on fantastical conspiracy theories about Bill Gates’ plans for world domination, 5G towers, and nefarious nanotechnologies. Since Italians appreciate their medical system, they trust their doctors to offer sound advice.
We are not homebound. We get all our daily needs met by the shops within our village. There is none of the toilet paper shelf-clearing that appears to be happening in the U.S. again. Deliveries happen every day; we have noticed no big change in the availability of goods and services.
One friend in the Italian countryside represents the generation that feels like their formative years of socializing and dating are being stunted. He may put on smiling face but he is noticeably distraught.
People know that shopping locally helps their neighbors and their families. So shop they do, have friendly conversations, share latest news, and perhaps chat about an upcoming festival. Making purchases isn’t just a commercial transaction – an exchange of money for goods or services. Its about reaffirming your connections with other people.