Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A City that Works

Providence, Rhode Island is one.

I came home yesterday with a shrieking LB, turned on the tap, and nothing happened.  I left a message for B cursing several governmental systems and higher powers, and then I called the number on the Providence Water website.  It was 6:00pm, and someone answered the damn phone.  I couldn't believe that a real person picked up the phone after 4:47pm.  And he was very nice and said he would send someone out to investigate.  A half hour later, there was a water investigator banging on my door.  He proceeded to fix the problem (involving the temporary water bypass system that was installed in our neighborhood and the hose to our house not been hooked up).  I was shocked, happy shocked!

Let me just tell you that in Baltimore, the water people probably wouldn't even bother to lie to you and tell you someone would be right out, but if they did, "a half hour" would mean "lady, just stop whining about your goddamn water, nobody cares."  (The only governmental efficiency I ever encountered in Baltimore was at the Board of Elections.) However, in Baltimore your ex-con neighbor would most definitely offer to run his garden hose through your kitchen window for the duration.  In Baltimore, civic breakdown leads to communitarianism by necessity, in Providence I don't need neighbors, I've got the employees of the water department looking out for me.

In other excellent urban news, our daycare is becoming a CSA pickup site.  How amazing is that?

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