Libertarian Quirk / by Akira Ohiso

public.jpeg

I walk along Market Street between 14th Ave NW and 8th Ave NW. An older man sits alone in a window seat at Kentucky Fried Chicken watching cars pass. According to recent studies, isolation has the same health as smoking. In older people, isolation and loneliness increase the chances of mortality.

I often wonder how these fast food restaurants of the 20th century will fare in the next century. Will more enlightened models of business create more enlightened chicken? Perhaps add flan with a Cuban touch to the menu as one KFC did in Florida.

Across the street, McDonald’s does steady business. Firestone Tires is rumored to be turned into senior living. But senior living is big business these days, catering to privileged boomers, so pricing is often unaffordable for many living on fixed incomes. Next door, Koi, a boutique apartment building, is unaffordable for people with unfixed incomes.

Craftsman’s with curb appeal line Market Street, an occasional house sold and torn down for a multi-family housing. NO HALA UPZONES placards on lawns. A dilapidated house with a layer of thick green moss on the roof was a drug den before police stormed it with assault weapons.

At the corner of 8th Ave NE, I turn left and head north. Laundromat, Chinese food, gas station, yoga, new and old houses. 8th is a mix of residential and commercial zoning, but changing towards the latter.

public.jpeg
public.jpeg

I pass a blue fire hydrant on a side street where overgrown vegetation flows down mossy retaining walls and onto cracked uneven sidewalks.

public.jpeg

I’ve seen fire hydrants painted in different colors and patterns. I wondered if it’s illegal or a libertarian quirk.

According to Westside Seattle, it is legal to paint fire hydrants as long the water is supplied by Seattle Public Utilities and you don’t paint the caps, which are color coded to indicate water pressure.