What's normal changes
Tuesday, May 08, 2007 by Dave Winer.
When I was a kid growing up in NYC in the 60s, every apartment building had an incinerator in the basement, every floor had a garbage chute, and periodically they'd burn the garbage. Out of a chimney on the roof would come a vile combination of soot, flying pieces of debris, burnt garbage. They'd often burn the garbage in the morning while we were on our way to school. On our wet hair, faces and clothes made smart and sparkly by our moms, would come down this vile mixture. We'd cough, eyes would tear, what a way to start a day -- what a way to start a life!
Forty years later, in the springtime the weather in the Berkeley hills is gorgeous. Every day there's a new wonderful and natural smell rising from the gardens. The air is clear, and if it gets hot, it's just a matter of a couple of days before "nature's air conditioning" kicks in. The air is good to breathe, feels good on the skin, if you take a shower you stay clean. No one burns garbage.
Oh but the noise! At 8:15AM I'm awoken by the sounds of a construction site which is down the street but sounds like it's right next door it's so loud and jarring. It will be like that all day, my guess is it will last through the summer. We live in paradise, but it's never quiet enough to enjoy it. Leaf blowers fill in the gaps between construction crews. Jack-hammers, saws, idling trucks, cement mixers. Every street in the neighborhood is like this.
Amyloo: "I have a memory of burning trash, too."
Postscript: The apartment house I'm writing about.