SWNID recently visited New York City on important ecclesiological business. We look forward to another such visit soon, and we hope to be accompanied by the ever-lovely Mrs. SWNID and some close friends. SWNID also looks forward to an upcoming trip to Chicago on important educational business. Mrs. SWNID likewise looks forward to her own upcoming trip to Chicago for important show business. Daughter of SWNID is also looking forward to her own upcoming visits to New York for important musical business and to Chicago for important educational business.
SWNID also has an upcoming trip for important educational business to Orlando. We aren't so much looking forward to that one.
Why, you ask?
New York and Chicago both have marvelously functional public transportation systems that make the entire city accessible to anyone with an easily procured pass and the ability to read a map. The cities in their entirety become veritable theme parks that one can explore at one's leisure, with no hassles for parking or traffic.
Orlando, on the other hand, is probably the most car-dependent and certainly the least pedestrian friendly city in America (its highest-in-the-nation rate of pedestrian deaths has been amply documented). While its balmy climate is appealing, its endless wasteland of highways and parking lots interrupted by chain restaurants, chain hotels and souvenir shops, imprisons visitors unwilling to pony up the money needed to rent a car. It is probably no accident that Orlando is most famous for an attraction that features an ersatz Main Street that doesn't remotely resemble any actual street in the city and is filled with various shared conveyances, operating in patterns that return the riders to the point where they started. We expect to wait out our time in Orlando by spending whatever free time we have catching up on grading. Magical!
We believe that one measure of any great city is how easily its occupants can get from one interesting point to another. So we utterly applaud the news that Our Fair City is considering the development of a streetcar line to connect the Riverfront, Downtown, Over-the-Rhine and perhaps the University/Uptown districts. It's no Metropolitan Transit Authority or Chicago Transit Authority system, but everyone has to start somewhere.