I spent the day on my bicycle on a long task ride–a visit to the Registrar’s office, lunch with B., the bike shop for a new tube, the grocery for potatoes and other sundries, Human Resources to talk retirement plans. Yep, an exciting day for Rhoda and I! It was hot hot hot today, so I pedaled slowly around Uptown. That slow pedaling gave me plenty of time to check out some of the biggest, fanciest houses in town. Sometimes I think the houses are pretty. Today, though, I felt increasingly angry. I mean, how come some people live in mansions, carefully tended by folks who could never afford a single night in a place like these, while others live in barely-safe homes in barely-safe neighborhoods? One of the streets I passed had a sign proclaiming it “Private: Do Not Enter.” How does a neighborhood declare a street private? Do they pave it themselves? Police it themselves? Many affluent neighborhoods hire their own security forces, but I don’t think that means they are outside the purview of the NOPD. The line between private and public property in this place isn’t always so clear. I walked my bike between two fancy houses on my way to Audubon Park. Parks are clearly public property, right? And yet just by virtue of having the cash to plunk down on a pricey bit of real estate, folks who live in houses lining the park get a incredibly beautiful, well-maintained publicly-funded backyard. Their private streets run right in to this public resource, sponsored by the very people they won’t let walk in their neighborhood. I don’t know, but today’s ride left me a bit surly, upset by the double standards and unfair distribution of resources so characteristic of this city, and most others.