Today was another long, 14 hour Monday, so my only ride was my commute to campus for three classes and the last meeting of my wonderful faculty seminar–I will miss my colleagues there, for sure. I will also miss my super-smart seminar students, so today’s last class meeting was bittersweet. I have had great students at Tulane–curious, smart, creative–just a pleasure to learn with, for sure. After that last class I needed to work out the feelings of saying goodbye to the majors (I’m moving on to a new job in Baltimore at the end of the summer), so I headed to Audubon Park for a few spins before my research seminar. I love Audubon Park, with its waterfowl and dogs (being walked by their humans) and oak trees dripping with Spanish moss (which is neither Spanish nor moss). So many different types of people use the park in so many different ways. Today I saw lots of dogs, a couple of women laying out on towels and wearing matching giant floppy hats, a woman reading in a reclining deck chair she brought for herself, three people doing the fitness trail/exercise station thingy-s, a couple of grown-ups running baseball drills with some kids, two women sitting on a bench watching and disapproving of those teenagers making out on a blanket, and several female ducks on the run from mallards. The park is a collective resource, and on this Tax Day, I’m grateful for many of the things our tax money pays for. Maybe not the wars or the bloated incarceration system, but for the Pell Grants, the parks, the roads and bridges, the tap water, the social welfare systems (though they are barely there, at this point, and if you don’t want them, I urge you to reread The Grapes of Wrath–that’s what a world without social safety nets looks like), the Medicare and Medicaid programs, the Social Security, and the public schools and hospitals and the National Parks and Monuments–memory matters, and so do habitats. I took this picture while relaxing on a bench, watching spandexed cyclists speed around the park. On this Tax Day I’m thinking about the struggle over the social wage, and how it’s the struggle we need, not a world without taxes. So pay up, folks, and use your parks! And please, spend some of that tax money on bike lanes. Thanks.
Our parks are still under snow, but I get your (blush) drift.
Great post. Although I don’t know you, I enjoy reading your blog and have learned so many neat things about New Orleans. (I have lived here for three years and I’m still discovering people, places, parks, and plants.) What a great reference to the Grapes of Wrath-makes sense to me.
Thank you, Liz! Happy riding to us both!