Endangered Streetscapes

A man’s house is his castle.

Fair enough.

But what about our roads — our streetscapes?  Do they belong to all of us?

A recent — and accelerating trend — is to erect ever-higher faux stone walls outside Westport castles houses.

The example above is from High Point Road.  On a street of 70 homes, it is the only one without an open, inviting lawn.  It’s jarring to drive by — and not the least bit friendly.

At least High Point is a cul de sac.  Here’s 1 view of Morningside Drive South:

And another, just a few yards away:

I know, I know what the response will be from “06880” libertarian commenters:  It’s their houses, and they can do whatever they want.

Of course they can.  But that doesn’t mean they should.

These stone walls are not for protection.  They’re for privacy — for walling ourselves off from each other.  For keeping to ourselves.  For saying:  “I don’t want to see you, and I don’t want you to see me.”

But what about our streets — part of the broader picture than just 1 house?

Isn’t it so much nicer to drive down the road and enjoy the type of view below?

And where is this photo — including the human-sized stone wall on the right — from?

Morningside Drive South.

91 responses to “Endangered Streetscapes

  1. So you would restrict the rights of others to benefit yourself. If the walls are within the restrictions of the zoning code, they may be in bad taste, but the choice is the owners. Many of our neighbors do things that any of us mught find in bad taste. I find Chekov to be in bad taste, but I would not propose an ordinance to ban the performance of Chekov within the town of Westport. Tolerance of the bad taste of others is necessary if we are to have a free society.

  2. Fewer Trick or Treaters

  3. Eric Buchroeder

    Your point is beyond obvious. What you have described is self-imposed alienation. I wonder how many of these homeowners worked their asses off to afford to live “in the country” and then reimposed the confinement and walls and hostility of the big city that they left. Its an unconscious process and to be aware of it you have to remember what things were once like in Westport, when there was a sense of community, when kids would cut through their neighbors yards on their way to good times because everybody knew each other and everybody pretty much got along and it was part of a feeling of “community”. We are free to impose confinement upon ourselves. Just like sitting way up in the tree on the outboard side of the saw cutting off the limb. Isn’t this a great society!!!!

  4. Wendy Crowther

    I so agree with you, Dan. In 2005 the P&Z Commission debated a change to the zoning laws that would limit wall and fence height to a 4 or 6 foot limit rather than the currently allowed 8 foot limit. The vote for a 6 foot limit was defeated, and the current 8 foot restriction remained in place.

    Our modern lives are increasingly bombarded by media, marketing, bad news, congestion and do-lists. Now more than ever, I believe we need the visual, mental and emotional relief that open space provides. This includes the “front-yard” open space visible from our driver’s seats, bike seats and shoe-tops.

    In order to remain a vibrant, welcoming, aesthetically desirable town, I wish we would exhibit our aesthetics and demonstrate our neighborliness, not wall these assets off from view or fence ourselves off from passers-by.

    Yeah, I get it – some people are concerned with privacy and security. But security systems and backyard walls could solve those problems.

    Westport has lost most of its farms, its meadows, its wooded lots, and its horse-grazing pastures. Rural calm has been replaced by the opulence and frenzy of a dot.com world.

    Our hectic lives could feel a little less tense if we could travel on roads that would allow us some visual calmness, glimpses of nature, and great landscaping rather than roads providing only the tightness of tunnel vision.

    • THANKS, Wendy. You said it far better than I could!

      As for Jeffxs: No, I wouldn’t restrict the rights of others to benefit myself. I would ask others to not only think of themselves, but think of all of us. It works both ways.

  5. Dan: What you and the others really want is for every one else to act as if thet believe as you believe. On the other hand, if some one demanded the same of you, you would find all sorts of reasons why your actions should not be constrained. As for the the amateur psychoanalysis; I ‘ll just assume it’s worth what I paid for it. No one knows why any individual builds these walls.

    • Well, I’m certainly not constraining anyone’s comments. I believe in allowing everyone to have his or her say, no matter how wrong they are.

      For the humor-impaired, that’s a joke.

  6. Wendy wants to pull up the ladder now that she is on the ark. The simple fact is that Westport is not what it was 30 years ago or 40 years ago. Change in inevitable.

    • Agreed. Including change that you might not like, Jeff, which is people saying: Enough of this self-imposed isolation.

  7. PS: Wendy is not “now on the ark.” She’s been here for many years. My guess is many of the high-fence-builders boarded the ark far later than Wendy.

  8. Dan: Precisely my point, and Wendy wishes they hadn’t as do you. You fail to recignize the danger of forcing others to act as if they believe as you believe. In that respect you and any number of religious and ideological zealots have something in common. Which of your behaviors would you like to be restricted because they are not consistent with the beliefs of others?

    • Did I ever advocate “restricting” behaviors? My objective is to get people to think about what they’re doing — not just in their own context, but in the context of what makes Westport a neighborhood, a town, a community.

  9. Peter Gambaccini

    The problem is that these faux stone walls are not always just a matter of “it’s their right to do what they want with their property.” Often they extend almost to the edge of the property on public roads at intersections and actually severely reduce the visibility of traffic entering the intersection. There’s an instance on Greens Farms Road where this is a severe problem, and that’s not the only case.

  10. Richard Lawrence Stein

    Ahhhh or is it awe!!!…. the world or the view of Jeffery…… as the saying goes…. “fences make great neighbors”… is sadly not true…. people have the inalienable right to do what they want with their properties. In most of the towns of Fairfield County the ugly side of a fence is to face your side of the land and not your neighbors…. in the same thought, it would be nice if people thought of others and there area aesthetic…. Dan…would a line of firs, evergreens, pines, or maybe boxwoods be better than the stone wall?…. Regardless of the why? more interesting would be the how come? How come you need to put up an 8ft 6ft or even a 4ft wall in your front yard when no one else in the neighborhood has one…. this I hope is not a trend….

  11. Dan: Fair enough. As long as you recognize that “think about what they’re doing” should include some thoughts as to the rights and preferences of others. The terms you have chosen to describe Westport are certainly subjective. Your column does reveal hypocrisy to be the favorite sport of many if not most in Westport. Maybe the people who build these walls, have what they consider to be good reasons for doing so. BTW I think we should have a dress code for those who walk on Main Street. If we allow the shabbily or inappropriately dressed to walk on Main Street, it might lower our property values, besides it doesn’t look good, and reflects a lack of concern for the community and the town.

    • Max Stampa-Brown

      shut up?

    • Innocent Bystander

      No, shut up is not the answer. Jeffxs is entitled to his opinion regardless of its popularity. But on point, I am not sure why anyone would want to build a 2 to 3 million dollar + house and then shut it off to where no one can really see it? I personally find the stone walls palatable. I find the masonary work amazing. But the wood/plastic fences on top of the stone or alone is repulsive to me. Many excuse these erections (sorry) as a prevention of car lights going by on the nearby roads. But I believe Dan and Wendy are correct, we have culturiologically produced this self-imposed privacy as some kind of norm.
      A way of self-imposed ego-centric trip to caste oneself off from the commoners. It also may be the same reason why mothers meet their childern at the end of the street to waiting for the bus. Are they afraid of kidnappers? Are fences to keep out would-be criminals in “crime ridden Westport” wanting to take their prized possessions?? Is is it all fear?

    • Princeton '82

      I would like to see a dress code at Staples. Lord, talk about giving a poor impression. A bunch of Brittany Spears – Jason Timberlake wanna-be-s.

      • Max Stampa-Brown

        when was the last time you were at staples bud? Because the 90’s ended about ten years ago.

        • Princeton '82

          What does the 90’s have to do with dressing well?

          • The Dude Abides

            Yo Ivy League. I dig the way the gals dress at Staples. Everything hanging out. Flip flops. Perpetual woody time. No sure how anybody learns anything but that is okay too.

          • Max Stampa-Brown

            The Dude speaks the truth, although I wouldn’t pronounce it “perpetual woody time”. Thought that was over your head too Princey. The pop-culture figures you used have no correlation to current fashion at staples, let alone the current world we live in. The dress code is one of the schools most redeeming qualities. What’s excellent is how many different styles walk the halls, not how constricted we could be.

            This has nothing to do with the article though kids, lets up the does of Ritalin and stick to the topic at hand: I love piling rocks in front of my multi-million dollar home in order to fend off the friendly neighbors, don’t you?

          • Max Stampa-Brown

            oh! and his name is Justin! not Jason, sorry about that

          • Innocent Bystander

            These are good kids. These are bright kids. But no way my daughter would walk out the door wearing what some of these gals wear to school. For one it is unbecoming for many and second, it is distracting as hell for any teenage boy known to the universe. As Max suggests, freedom is cool but dressing as such is not the real world and not even many high schools in America.

        • Princeton '82

          Huh? I see the kids every day. They wear cutoffs and flip flops like Britany still does and guber shirts like Jason, who is Justin’s younger brother. Yeah, let freedom ring until they are off to college and wear backpacks, flip flops and jeans. Clones. Slobs to boot. Bright though and will probably have bigger and higher fences than Dad and Mom. Moooooo . . . . cattle drive. Round ’em up, move ’em on.

          • The Dude Abides

            Yo Stampa, if letting everything hang out is redeeming, bring it on. To me, man, they are just a bunch of white kids. They all look the same to me. Ivy, man. Like the analogy. Moooo . . . . definitely cool.

          • It was telling that at the FCIAC dinner last week, more than a few female coaches accepted their awards wearing dresses and flip flops.

          • Innocent Bystander

            Dan: You may not want to jump their bones but you be looking.

  12. I think the trend in the way homes are built now is not comparable to the days when suburban homes were smaller and closer together and people could stroll along sidewalks and wave to neighbors who sat on porches. There is no closeness or approachable feeling in the way homes are built now, I think. As a child, after living in open and flat rural Texas, my family moved to suburban Kansas City, and even though there was not one stone wall on our upscale street, you were NEVER allowed to even touch with your toe a blade of grass in a neighbor’s yard. The culture of friendliness and open-hearted attitudes toward neighbors was not there. I don’t think the stone walls in Westport necessarily define whether or not our town has a culture of kindness and openness. So, maybe a stone wall does not necessarily define whether a cultural meanness or message of “stay away” is present, but I like the fact that raising the question helps us ask if our community is not welcoming and is in fact a place where exclusivity is the cultural norm.

    • Outside Observer

      I lived in Kansas City (Plaza area) in the 1980’s and agree with you on lack of warmth. But I also lived in Texas where people would go out of their way to stop on the highway to help you fix a tire. Here? A very nice melting pot of those with real compassion with those who could care less. The latter seem to have the higher fences for some unknown reason.

  13. Arthur Champlin

    I bet if you visit those with high fences, they would be the first to take you for a “tour” of their house. Dang, why would I want to see your bedroom? To me, fences is just another form of showing off. Just look how special and important I am to isolate myself from everyone. Definite sign of insecurity to me.

  14. Pheidippides

    You ever wave to another runner and they look the other way? You ever have a car graze your elbow while biking? You ever have a golfer hit into you at Longshore? Those are people with high fences. Jeffxs is right: it is their right. But the sadness and scary thing about it is that they don’t know any better. It is the acceptable norm to be in a hurry, to be rude, to isolate yourself in your mansion. We have produced these robots and I am glad they have fences so I don’t have to see them.

  15. Will those who are so concerned about the message of exclusivity they imagine is conveyed by these walls advocate high density housing in Westport? How about free access to Compo Beach? I thought not. The price of the average home in Westport is far above the national average, so any concern about exclusivity is a bit feigned at this point. I have no idea why people build these walls, and neither does anyone who post here,

    • Princeton '82

      Actually access to the beach is free. It is your car that cost you. Dense population? Are you serious? Head over to Bridgeport some time.
      I have a high fence. I like it. Makes me feel secure and slightly tingly. Also, keeps the New Yorkers from driving by, heads hanging out the window and checking me out in my Speedo while I do the weeding.

  16. Innocent Bystander

    I honestly don’t think the fences relate to “exclusvity” for invasion on their property. I think it is a culturiological norm to inflate egos. I don’t see the Newmans with a high fence although they do have a gate for security reasons. They also didn’t drive around town with the top down either and a ball cap with sun glasses. Clones of wannabes. Of course, Mr. Newman used to own a yellow houseboat and would purposely blow the horn as he entered Southport harbor to raise the high brows of the aristocrats. A true Westporter!

  17. Sorry, Dan. I can’t agree with you on this issue. First of all, the fences look nice. Secondly, people work hard for these houses and want to come home and be left alone. When we lived in Stratford, I loved my neighbor but just didn’t feel like talking to him after a long day at work. I just wanted to sit in the yard and decompress, listening to birds.

  18. It is interesting that so many claim to know the motivation for building the walls, and that motivation always reflects a character deficiency; of course, whose character is deficient is an open issue in reality.

  19. Princeton '82

    XS: I don’t think my privacy is a “deficiency” nor my attempt to enjoy my weeding without gawkers. You are assuming your assumption is correct on the ascertained assumption of others.

  20. Princeton: I did not assume that a wall was evidence of a deficiency of character. I do question the character of those who would claim that a wall is by itself evidence of a deficiency of character. Enjoy your wall.

  21. Princeton '82

    Thanks Jeffxs. The New York Times magazine article today is advocating the end of deregulation and the emergence of more governmental intervention. This stems from the fact that the BP spill is perceived by America as the government’s fault. Good read but would appear I may have to lower my wall and perhaps wear more than a Speedo while gardening. The gawkers will remain free to rubberneck.

  22. Princeton: The Sulzbergers are clueless in Manhattan.

  23. Princeton '82

    Regardless of your politics, it is the best newpaper out there in this country for information and indepth coverage. Unfortunately, they are going broke.

    • ‘The best paper in the country’? For what?, wrapping fish?
      If they changed their motto to: ‘All the news that’s fit to print for a left wing agenda’ then they would at least be honest.

      What about the Jayson Blair scandal? And the subsequent fallout of their executive editor Howell Raines.

      How about the false accusations of a John McCain affair with a lobbyist, while completely ignoring a real story of John Edward’s affair and ‘lust child’?

      Or how about them telling their own reporter to Stephanie Strom to spike the story of Obama, that would have shown a close link between ACORN, Project Vote and the Obama campaign because it would have been a “a game changer.”

      I could go on, but I think I made my point. And you claim it’s the best…well that all depends on your point of view and political leanings now doesn’t it?

      Oh, and I still read it every single day as I have for over 30 years. The difference is I also read the National Review and Weekly Standard the best news magazines in the country!

  24. Princeton: You must be kidding. It is now a parody of a newspaper. Nothing it prints can be taken seriously. Pinch made editorial and marketing decisions that lead to its current state of duress, but he will not be removed because no one outside the “family” has any voting rights.

  25. Princeton '82

    Well I must be wearing orthopedic shoes for I stand corrected. Plus I am too tired to argue with you all today. I read the Times Sunday edition and watch “Charlie Rose.” Quite honestly, that is far too much. The “06880” blog is my dessert.

    • NYT & Charlie Rose? May I suggest a little balance in your diet.

      Perhaps some Jonah Goldberg, Thomas Sowell, Star Parker, Peggy Noonan, Walter Williams and even some Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter when you’re ready to really challange your world view.

      • Princeton '82

        John: It is what it is: I am tired from a 15 mile run yesterday and do not want to argue with you.
        If you want to take that as a right-wrong issue, you are right if that is important to you.
        I like the Sunday Times and “Charlie Rose.”
        You can suggest all you want. I like what I like.
        I don’t like dissension and that is what this country is becoming. Alot of talk without much action because we want to argue and not get things accomplished. I find that sad and not the America I love.

      • Richard Lawrence Stein

        John you had me on hearing the views of others but you tried to slip in Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck. Surprisingly you didn’t put Rush in there…. Sorry but that is not three of your best arguements for the GOP… You would of been better off adding someone like Ben Stein….

    • “I am too tired to argue with you all today”.
      Is that your way of saying, ‘you’re right’ and I’ve gotten nothing to defend my subjective opinions or any facts to counter your statements and facts?

  26. I used to do art/illustration work for NYTimes Op-Ed and Letters to the Editor. My art director, Jerelle Krauss wrote a book you all might love to have, ALL THE ART THAT’S FIT TO PRINT (AND SOME THAT WASN’T). Fabulous peek at what goes on behind the scenes at the New York Times.

  27. oops, meant to write “Kraus”

  28. 56 comments so far. 57, if you include this one. Is this an 06880 record, Dan?

    I for one am on the side of friendliness and beauty. (The latter, in my opinion, is often underrated in terms of how it affects our emotional well-being.) My hope is that these walls will eventually go out of vogue.

  29. The last time I entered one of these forums, the original topic was “The Angry Moms” and our children’s diets.

    That discussion progressed along the same route as this; ending with a diverse group of folks sitting on thrones, folding chairs, stone walls or the ground – and trying to solve the chicken or egg dilemma over veggie wraps, a caviar shot , Big Macs, or a power shake.

    Seems to me that all we know for sure is that we all get hungry, we all need rest, we all need our own spot, and we like to be free to choose everything else.

    And, hopefully, we can agree that no one should steal each other’s nutrients, excrete on each other, or leave their garbage behind for someone else to deal with.

    All else up for comment or debate is in our minds informed by our own thoughts and preferences based on experience and belief. You don’t know me and my WHY’S and I don’t know you and your WHY’S.

    If people are unfriendly, there are usually two reasons: they are preoccupied or they are insecure. It feels bad to run across such neighbors, but we can’t take it personally for in either case they have a problem to solve on their own.

    The times have indeed changed, but we can do our part to set an example of openness; and we can share as much natural and aesthetic pleasure as possible, and help others to do the same, when we notice a need for more of this in our surrounding community.

    Sometimes the ideal is sacrificed to retain or accommodate something thought to be necessary, but we will never get anywhere unless we ask : What is necessary?How did it become so? And answer with complete honesty so we might start at the real root to grow healthier.

    There’s not much, if anything, we can do about the takers in the world. Except to recognize that on some level they do care what others think, and we can have the courage to ask, “And what will you be giving back to ~?” (instead of humoring them due to intimidation and fear).

    There IS still strength in numbers, but just what is it that counts in each individual life and in the life of a town?

  30. Prill: “Food Wars” generated 70 comments.

    • Innocent Bystander

      99 comments on the “Open Doors” downtown broke the record of 69 (no pun intended) on the death of Marilyn Chambers.

  31. The Dude Abides

    Far out Rebecca! I was totally in karma with you on the food wars but man, this is a stretch for even my warped mind! I got the culture deal but totally buzzed on what you are saying here. I think I am crashing . . .

  32. Sensible One

    It seems to me Dan, that you are only taking one point of view on this issue of fences/and/or/stone walls. You assume that people are erecting these to wall each other out (which may be the case in some instances) but there is another reason – I finally resorted to a fence to keep the neighbors dogs out!! I live in a part of Westport that is LOADED with dogs! I have my own wonderful guy. But, none of these dogs are EVER walked on a leash. Their owners let them out for the day and they wander anywhere they’d like. Often, it is onto my property where they do their business and then wander to another location of their liking. This not only drives my dog nuts when they lounge on our property, but then I am forced to go out with the poop scoop. I am well aware that people will say that I should speak to the doggie owners, and I have. The situation improves for a couple of days and then back to their routine. I am not interested in being the neighbor that is a pain, so I put up a fence (which has no bad side) and since then, I have had no unwanted visitors – including the deer.

  33. Once again, Sensible One comes to the rescue of a highly tangential discussion. Fences in the back yard are very practical for dog poop, wild orgies and illegal drugs. Deer fences are signifcant but do not cure the latter two activties. Perhaps domes may come into vogue in the later part of this century? With the improvement of communicative technology, you might go through life not seeing anybody.

  34. You have overdeveloped my woods, brightened the headlights on your car so I am dumbfounded when forced to cross to street and now erect nearly invisible fences so I can not nibble on your precious plants. I am hungry! Who was here first anyhow?

  35. Native Westporter

    I am not sure the big deal about dog poop. There was something very manly about growing up here and playing football and finding a big glup of dog doo in your hair after a hard tackle on Doubleday Field. It was the end of innocence. It has no lastly effects with the exception that I do stop at fire hydrants occassionally with a deep desire to pee.

  36. Sensible One

    Native Westporter,
    If only I had known about your fondness for dog poop! I could have called you each and every day and you could have had your fill! Btw, I am kidding!
    But Gaga, your point about communicative technology if already here! How many people do we see in our travels each and every day who are glued to their cell phones either talking or texting. It’s done everywhere – on the train, behind the wheel of a car and walking on the street – non-stop! You can see people, but not talk to them!

  37. You are right as usual. I think we are afraid. We hide behind big fences and meet our kids at the mail box and hold tightly on to our cell phone in the parking lot. A face to face confrontation is not only not the norm but scary to many. Our media breeds this fear. The first three stories of any local broadcast is about someone being shot or kidnapped or blown up. Politicians like us fearful as well so they can capitalize on our fear of homosexuals or Muslims or global warming or death panels. 25% of our population keeps 20% of our population behind bars. It is a tragic culturiological spiral with no end in sight. And that is scary in itself.

  38. According to the typical rant found here, those who build walls must have deep psychological problems. While those who stand outside the walls are at the center of all that is right and good in the universe. Given the willingness of the typical poster to render harsh judgements about his neighbors without actually meeting them, it is not surprising that the neighbors build wall.

  39. Princeton '82

    According to you, we all are MSN’s living in Westport so is the judge?

  40. Princeton: That would be MSM’s, and precisely, who is to judge?

  41. Well, I love to draw the stone walls around Westport, and I was just walking along the front of Longshore, and saw some lost keys someone placed on top of the wall. It might be nice to have one’s own secret garden, with keys to a hidden door covered with roses or wysteria.

  42. The Dude Abides

    Whoa, Elaine, way to stop traffico! Nuttin’ like an artist to jam the noise and find the peace. As actress Swinton said last night: “It is my life and I need to find quiet to enjoy it. And the world is getting very noisy.” Amen Elaine. Good luck finding that secret garden. Keep it secret though!

  43. Interesting thoughts. If ever there were a course on suburban theory, the building of walls and fences around lots would be a major topic. Maybe they’re not friendly, but it seems to me that not many people walk around neighborhoods for the sheer enjoyment of it any longer–people stare at me when I take my daily walks, an aberration from the typical scene of cars and more cars, and the occasional dog-walker. I am speculating and typing out of my cluttered mind, but perhaps the building of these walls is an outgrowth of the overall sentiments of our era–phrases like “artificial connection at the cost of separation” ad “technological isolation.” The days of friendly neighborhoods seem to be over.

  44. Arthur Champlin

    I applaud you your daily exercise and probably have passed you on my bike. I am not sure that the fences denote an unfriendliness. Westport is full of those who have compassion with those who do not. Instead it is a caste of separation that is needed in this hectic world and the stress thereof connected. As mentioned above, I think it may be fear, a need to disconnect, agitation or as simply, maybe dog poop. I don’t think the raise of higher fences means a snobby, uncaring Westport. Instead, the world has gotten more hectic and noisy (in Swinton’s words) and thus, the requirement for more seclusion. We still have a block party every year!

  45. If those are Wall Street executives living behind those high walls, they are gonna need more than that when the Feds come a knockin’.

  46. I would trust the comments more if half the people didn’t hide behind pseudonymns. Dan Woog is honest and gives his opinions. So do several others. But when Jeffxs and Lady Gaga and the Dude, etc. give their opinions, is it possible that they don’t want neighbors and friends to know who they are? It just feels cowardly to me.

  47. Carl A. Swanson

    That is a ridiculous comment. Writers have been using pseudonyms for centuries for fear of reprisal. And no one is asking you to “trust”the comments here. They are a free exchange of opinions that foster dissent. Whether they are earnest is debatable. We have had this discussion on this blog before and the majority of subscribers preferred not to use their real names. And how do we know you are really Linda Smith???? The term “cowardly”seems awful harsh coming from someone who is being awfully judgmental.

  48. The Dude Abides

    I guess Smitty there must think Mark Twain was a coward too!

  49. Smith appears to favor ad hominem arguments.

  50. Linda dear must be a descendant of Joe McCarthy. Or a transgender lover of J.Edgar or maybe Nixon’s bartender?

  51. This blog discussion gets Fascinatinger (I like that for a pen name…) every day. Linda’s comment is making me think about human discourse, free speech, consideration of receiver attitudes and possible reactions, ratio of level of personal risk-taking to level of commitment in being heard when deciding how and when to express opinions about hot issues, and creating change; stuff like that.

  52. Fascintinger

    I like it too. I don’t think our Founding Fathers envisoned the internet but I still maintain there is a freer discourse of ideas when it is anonyomous. Call me coward, call me scoundrel but I don’t want no psycho wrapping on my door in the middle of the night because I called Staples “overrated.”

  53. If you will note, Rebecca, that many of the dialogues begin here in a hostile fashion and end in a rather conciliatory, if not friendly, reconcilation. I think that is the beauty of the blog for it allows one to speak without inhibitions and forward an argument that they might not be able to muster if identified. This may be a generality but I find the scariest comments to come from the individuals who use their given names (presumably).

  54. This comment chain is redonkulous.

  55. Pseudonymph

    Yes, yes, it is. That’s why it’s on my Favorites bar.

  56. The Dude Abides

    Gandhi said everything we do in this life is insignifcant but it is important that we do it!
    Burn one . . . . if you are uptight.

  57. Princeton '82


  58. Pingback: Beach Bans « 06880

  59. Well…… This subject certainly has wrought irony!