We headed to Savannah for a quick day trip today. With such a short amount of time on our hands (and a four year old in tow), guided tours are a great way to take in the sights - and take note of the places we want to come back to spend more time at! For a history and movie buff like myself, Savannah is a hit. And Arthur from #oldsavannahtours gave us a wonderful introduction to a very cool city.
Mid-winter break means a trip to a place none of us have ever been - Hilton Head Island. 🌴 We’re not bound to any particular itinerary or destination - just taking it all in at the Coastal Discovery Museum and Coligny Beach for starters! Any suggestions for family-friendly waterfront dining for dinner tonight?
The word is: urban. Growing up, I lived in the country. It was so rural that power outages were an often occurrence leaving swathes of time to read by oil lamp, play frustrating games of scrabble with apathetic siblings, and waste ingredients with kitchen experiments. In winter, water pipes from the well threatened to freeze, forcing us to leave the half-bath sink at a constant trickle. Then there’s the sewer. Most folks had a tank buried in a level section of their yard, downhill from the house. Every year or so, a brave guy with zero olfactory sensitivity would drive his tanker truck out near the cap, and vacuum the sewage from the cavity. The warning signs for this necessity were particularly troubling.
Then I moved to the city, where the water tastes the same from every tap! Here in San Francisco, the lines don’t freeze! And the sewers—well, let’s just say we’re ALL connected. It’s not a perfect system. It’s still messy, and sometimes breaks. But for the most part, it is reliably good.
I often drive by City College in SF, and notice these utilitarian-looking pipes jutting up and out. They captured my eye first because of their color. Then I wondered what they’re called. Luckily, I have resources. Uncle Larry says they’re Backflow Preventers, and they're used for irrigation, and hydrants. They receive annual inspections, so that’s why they stand at attention above ground. In many parts of the country, they must be blanketed to prevent freezing. The color coding indicates potability, and arrows on every juncture show flow direction. As Uncle Larry says: “you always want to know your water source.” That’s true whether you’re a country mouse OR a city mouse. >>>
n.b. There are, of course, mountains of issues with most public utility systems. I’m not trying to avoid that glaring aspect. From contaminated water to man-made reservoirs, controversies abound. But this is about seeing a sculptural quality in an urban necessity. Now, like me, you’ll notice they are everywhere, and some are just as interesting. •