Interesting post from Eleanor Arnason on “not having a car”:
In this society, not driving means you are poor, in some way disabled or odd. When I was young, I was less aware of this, since there are a fair number of young people who bike or take the bus. But now — at my age — I am aware that I look poor or disabled or odd.
Eleanor’s writing from Minneapolis, and i suspect that notions of who has a car / who doesn’t have a car will depend on where one lives — what city, what neighborhood. For instance, i suspect it’s significantly less odd to be car-less in New York City. In my case, while it is fairly odd for me to not have a car in Seattle, it’s not so terribly odd in the U-District, my neighborhood. I regularly see the inhabitants of Greek Row hauling many grocery bags 2 blocks from Safeway back to their fraternity/sorority houses.
Now my granny cart. That‘s odd, and Andy’s still sufficiently embarrassed by it that he winces whenever i try to use it, which at this point in our tenure in this neighborhood is really only about once a year. Wimp.
Still, i think Eleanor’s point definitely stands. Whenever i’m outside of the U-District and explain that i don’t have a car, i always get odd looks. I’ve had people i’ve only known for 2 hours offer to give me a ride home, because why would you take the bus???