Urban Views and Civil Liberties

There are four views of cities that are interesting, spectacular, and seen best in the evening.

Pittsburgh from Atop Mt. Washington.   Entrepreneurs have polluted this area with overpriced and average restaurants.    While all of us have read about it, this location has lost its historic importance.

Philadelphia from the Steps of the Art Museum.

Harrisburg from the elevated Nagley Park right across the Susquehanna River.

Bethlehem from the North Side overlooking South Bethlehem, the Lehigh River, and the South Mountain.

The best night for these views is Sunday.  There is an eerie relative quiet.  In a few hours, these places will explode into a mass of people, traffic, and constant noise.  For now, you can hear individual cars, sirens, and the rumble of trains echoing against the hills and buildings.  There is some additional activity because some rooms show light in buildings.  In spite of this tenuous calm, the sounds remind us there is something still going on.  Somewhere a doctor is performing an life threatening operation; a crime is being committed; a newspaper reporter is facing a deadline; a child is born; or someone is dying. I could go on but the message and metaphor here are clear.

Even during slow or crises periods,  the nation must always guard against erosion of our civil liberties.   They can gradually disappear through complacency or expediency.  As our civil liberties decline, the kooks and fanatics take over.


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