I took a walk in the back alleys of the downtown eastside with Ken Lyotier this morning. When I got home, someone had sent me an article written by the wonderful Elizabeth Royte (Garbage Land, 2005) last May that really brought home how far we have descended.
"Paris has its ornate cast-iron Wallace fountains (donated in the late 19th century by a wealthy philanthropist hoping to steer the homeless from alcohol toward a healthier beverage); Rome its ever-running street spigots; Portland, Ore., its delightful four-bowl Benson Bubblers."
But it looks like "bubblers" can make a comeback. Minneapolis is installing artist-designed drinking fountains at strategic spots throughout the city.
What a nice idea. Provide nice clean water, flowing free, on our street corners. Maybe in time for those Olympics? Anyone inspired to leave a legacy of humanitarian good will before our little Gilded Era is over?
Pic: Benson Bubbler