Let Me Count the Waze...

Lately I've become obsessed with this app called Waze, which is essentially a more interactive GPS for your phone. Technology is wonderful and there have been tons of apps and products, etc. that have made life better and easier, particularly in the case of transportation. May this statement surprise no one. But what's curious about Waze is that it navigates you to avoid heavy traffic, and so it is perpetually shooing me down side streets I have never seen the light of day on. 

Two days ago I was driving home to Somerville from Brighton (Boston suburb A to Boston suburb B), across the Charles, during rush hour. It calculated, and then essentially sent me zigzagging through Tory Row, with optimal ease (but again, lots of turning), from beautiful house view to beautiful house view. I don't know how many people make the connection or not, but because Boston is more of an older, European city than say—Orlando, Florida—it takes on a lot of the characteristics of a British city in terms of planning. Meaning, there are squares and main thoroughfares that connect them, and that's what most people see. But a block to the left or a block to the right can be completely residential; a total slum or houses with bathrooms to spare. It's basically two different mindsets set up inches from each other. Whereas, in a city like Orlando, you have your very clear cut commercial areas, very clear cut industrial areas, and your very clear cut residential areas. Gated communities are not designed to be cut through; to have a high amount of public entry points. The effect in New England is both awe-inspiring and humbling. These beautiful houses are visible to the public eye, for you to marvel at their construction and perhaps envy their residents, and they're within reach. The amount of transparency is phenomenal.