You all know by now how much I love interesting changes in perspective.
I was in West Virginia this week for the day job, specifically the capitol, Charleston. It’s really a lovely little city, with the Kanawha River flowing at its feet. I’m told “Kanawha” is pronounced “Kanaaaaahhhh.” I suspect it helps to have a southern accent. At any rate, I love cities on big rivers. I grew up in the Rocky Mountain West where we just don’t *do* big rivers. Cricks and washes, yes; waterways capable of bearing traffic, oh no no no.
See, that’s the cool thing. The capitol building in West Virginia seems like it’s facing the wrong direction. It’s kind of away from downtown and it sits sideways to the big thoroughfare next to it. Kanawaha Blvd runs in front of it, but that’s not the main route to downtown from the interstate by any stretch. But if you walk along the riverfront pathway – which is a lovely walk – you can see it. The building faces the river. Steps and an esplanade run right down to the river and the building rises above it, greeting guests who’ve arrived by boat, not by automobile.
I recognize this because I went through
an obsession a phase where I visited plantation homes. Many of those show their best faces to the river, because that’s how people arrived. Before everything became about the car.
I’ve been toying with post-apocalyptic scenarios. Especially since people keep bugging me that Feeding the Vampire is too short. It would be interesting to write about a string of communities that return to traveling and trading by the river that joins them, walling themselves off to all other avenues of entry. Everything would become about controlling and protecting the river.
Fun to think about.