In the Bus Bag
Unaccustomed Earth, by Jhumpa Lahiri
Tag Archives: carfree
At 2 AM Saturday morning, Chicklet woke up with a fever of over 104. After calling our insurance hotline and talking with an on-call nurse and doctor, we decided to take her to the emergency room. Even if the bus had been running at that hour, walking and waiting were out of the question (for me, anyway–Nerd was down), and there were no Zipcars available in our neighborhood. So, we settled for option three–a cab–and were sitting in the Swedish ER within 15 minutes of the call.*
Fortunately, Chicklet was not seriously ill. She had case of strep throat, from …
I’ve spent the past 20 months (well, on and off anyway–I know not everyone’s as interested in hearing about my kid as I am in talking about her) telling you how much I enjoy busing with Chicklet. And I really do. I love spending one-on-one time on our travels. I love having extra time to read and talk to her. I love experiencing the excitement of riding through her eyes. I love that I am teaching her many of my values–conservation, equality, community engagement, thrift, to name a few–without having to say a word.
But, you know all …
For a variety of reasons, Bus Nerd and I are not especially big on baby gear. Most of what we do have we either borrowed from friends or purchased used. So it is particularly ironic that the one piece of baby gear we bought brand, spanking new–and paid a small fortune for, I might add–is the one we almost never use: Chicklet’s car seat.
Like all parents, we wanted our kid’s seat to be safe, and we were concerned about buying a used one. (When an environmentalist tells you it’s not a good idea, it gives you …
I have chosen to live without a car for many reasons. Some that are most important to me: cars’ detrimental impact on human health and on both the built and natural environments. And yet, because I am car-free (and therefore require convenient access to transit and useful services), I live at the intersection of two very busy–and not in a good way–streets. Don’t get me wrong, I love living in the city–specifically, this one–and I don’t mind dealing with the associated activity/chaos. I just wish it was a city with more (better) transit, more bikes, more foot …
For those of you who are interested in car-free parenting stories, I highly, highly recommend Car Free with Kids, a blog written by Angela and Dorea Vierling-Claassen, two mathematicians and bike/bus/T chicks who are raising a child (soon to be two!) without a car. In a recent post about surviving car-free babyhood, they almost perfectly described my feelings on the subject.
So if it really is this hard, why do it? Why do the work of navigating pregnancy, babyhood and toddlerhood (perhaps several times) without a car? What, exactly, is the payoff? The payoff is a life in …
In the spirit of the season (and in the spirit of recycling–you know how we bus chicks do), some of my bus-friendly shopping tips, circa 2006:
Tip 1: Buy less. The simplest and most effective way to avoid the hassle of shopping without a car is to stop shopping so doggone much. Your decision to try life as a bus chick means you’re probably interested in conserving — your money, the world’s resources, or both — and spending less time at the mall will surely help you accomplish this.
Tip 2: Use a different kind of highway. If you …
Since Bus Nerd and I announced we were expecting a baby, folks have been taking bets on how long it would be before we bought a car. Most are shocked that we are even attempting car-free parenthood and see our choice either as some sort of noble sacrifice or stubborn attempt to prove a point. Either way, they consider raising a child without a car to be difficult and limiting.
Remember Rene, the car-free bus driver from the class I took in February of ’07? Just in case you don’t:
Irony of the day: The class instructor, Jeffrey…included an article about the high cost of car ownership in the class materials. One of the students, Rene, who has been car-free for 15 years, said that his job as a bus driver makes this choice extremely difficult. After all, someone has to get to (or from) the base when the buses aren’t running.
Rene went on to say that, according to his calculations, if he took a $10 cab …
Looks like it’s time for some major renovations at the Market:
City politicians hope to ask voters in November 2008 to approve a tax increase for the Market and the Seattle Center. City officials don’t yet have an estimate for the project.
“It’s recognized nationally and internationally as the heart and soul of the city,” Mayor Greg Nickels said Monday. “So it’s time, I think, for another generation to renew that commitment, renovate the physical (infrastructure) that keeps it running and put a new coat of paint on it.”
The Market also is exploring ways to ease crowding, …