One bright pansy popping through a sidewalk crack will get weeded or stepped on; it's not until twenty fabulous flowers bust through and the pavement is ruined anyway that someone decides maybe it isn't a sidewalk at all, but a flower garden. So please, for the love of gender--go bloom.
S. Bear Bergman
Chapter One of My Life. I walk down the street. There's a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost. I am helpless. It isn't my fault. It still takes forever to find a way out. Chapter Two. I walk down the same street. There's a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don't see it. I fall in again. I can't believe I'm in the same place! But it isn't my fault. And it still takes a long time to get out. Chapter Three. I walk down the same street. There's a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it there. I still fall in. It's a habit! My eyes are open. I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately. Chapter Four. I walk down the same street. There's a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it. Chapter Five. I walk down a different street.
Throughout the day, Stargirl had been dropping money. She was the Johnny Appleseed of loose change: a penny here, a nickel there. Tossed to the sidewalk, laid on a shelf or bench. Even quarters. "I hate change," she said. "It's so . . . jangly." "Do you realize how much you must throw away in a year?" I said. "Did you ever see a little kid's face when he spots a penny on a sidewalk?
There is a place where the sidewalk ends And before the street begins, And there the grass grows soft and white, And there the sun burns crimson bright, And there the moon-bird rests from his flight To cool in the peppermint wind. Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black And the dark street winds and bends. Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow, And watch where the chalk-white arrows go To the place where the sidewalk ends. Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow, And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go, For the children, they mark, and the children, they know The place where the sidewalk ends.
There also wasn't one single bit of grass or dirt outside the airport. Even the median strip was a concrete sidewalk. Where did Atlanta's pet travelers pee? Maybe city dogs just learned to use the sidewalk. We kept walking. It looked like if we crossed the road that all the cars used to get onto the highway, we might come to a planted-up area, but we also might get killed. Finally, I just lifted Cannoli up and plopped her down on a great big ashtray built into the top of the trash barrel. "Good thing you're not a German shepherd, " I said.
On the lawn next to the sidewalk a fire ant colony is swarming. The ants are pouring out of a mound nest, here no more than an irregular pile of dirt partly flattened by the last pass of a lawnmower. Winged queens and males are taking off on their nuptial flight, protected by angry-looking workers that run up and down the grass blades and out onto the blistering-hot concrete of the sidewalk. The species is unmistakably Solenopsis geminata, the native fire ant.
E. O. Wilson
It's like I get into a roller coaster, and sit there while it goes up and down and upside down and sometimes I get thrown out and I hit my head, but I crawl back in again and the moment I'm back in, it just keeps on going and going again... all of this, so I can find things out and then I write about the things I find out so you can find them out from me. All the bruises, all the wounds, all the bumps on the head, all the scars, just so I can take that and I can write all these things, and sometimes I say "God, I don't want to be in this roller coaster anymore." But when I think about it, if I'm not right here, then where the hell would I be? On the sidewalk? I wasn't born to stand on the sidewalk, I was born to fly around crazy in the sky!
C. JoyBell C.
Hester Lipp had written Where the Sidewalk Starts, an inexplicably acclaimed book of memoir, recounting - in severe language and strange, striking imagery - Lipp's childhood and adolescence on a leafy suburban street in Burlington. Her house was large and well-kept, her schooling uneventful, her family - the members of which she described in scrupulous detail - uniformly decent and supportive. Sidewalk was blurbed as a devastatingly honest account of what it meant to grow up middle class in America. Amy, who forced herself to read the whole thing, thought the book devastatingly unnecessary. The New York Times had assigned it to her for a review, and she stomped on it with both feet. Amy's review of Sidewalk was the only mean-spirited review she ever wrote. She had allowed herself to do this, not because she was tired of memoirs, baffled by their popularity, resentful that somehow, in the past twenty years, fiction had taken a backseat to them, so that in order to sell clever, thoroughly imagined novels, writers had been browbeaten by their agents into marketing them as fact. All this annoyed her, but then Amy was annoyed by just about everything. She beat up on Hester Lipp because the woman could write up a storm and yet squandered her powers on the minutiae of a beige conflict-free life. In her review, Amy had begun by praising what there was to praise about Hester's sharp sentences and word-painting talents and then slipped, in three paragraphs, into a full-scale rant about the tyranny of fact and the great advantages, to both writer and reader, of making things up. She ended by saying that reading Where the Sidewalk Starts was like "being frog-marched through your own backyard.
Under the seeming disorder of the old city, wherever the old city is working successfully, is a marvelous order for maintaining the safety of the streets and the freedom of the city. It is a complex order. Its essence is intricacy of sidewalk use, bringing with it a constant succession of eyes. This order is all composed of movement and change, and although it is life, not art, we may fancifully call it the art form of the city and liken it to the dance - not to a simple-minded precision dance with everyone kicking up at the same time, twirling in unison and bowing off en masse, but to an intricate ballet in which the individual dancers and ensembles all have distinctive parts which miraculously reinforce each other and compose an orderly whole. The ballet of the good city sidewalk never repeats itself from place to place, and in any once place is always replete with new improvisations.