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Monorail of Love

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Writer Steven Paul Leiva has an appreciation of Ray Bradbury, author of Dandelion Wine and Fahrenheit 451, in yesterday's LA Times. Buried near the end is his rhapsodic support for Bradbury's long-running Los Angeles monorail campaign. Leiva thinks a monorail could have made us fall in love all over again with this crazy city: "If several generations of Los Angeles city fathers had not refused to listen to Bradbury, and had built the monorail system that he has tirelessly promoted for years (don’t talk of earthquakes, I’m sure clever engineers could have worked out the problems), then Los Angeles would now have truly efficient arteries for our contradiction-in-terms city – a center-less urban environment made up of suburbs. And I think Angelinos would have been enthused with a Bradbury-like love for their city. For only a monorail system would have given Angelinos the literal lift that would have allowed them to cast their eyes out over our expansive landscape and see it for what it is: neighborhoods of individual identity seamlessly stitched together into a whole, a flat-land whole given texture by being divided by hills and boarded by mountains and the sea, and covered by more trees that it’s ever given credit for. Daily, purposeful travel by monorails would have afforded Angelinos an elevated perspective that would have given them a true sense of place. Not the most beautiful city in the world, true, but one teeming with life, one firmly planted in our geography, one seen, from this perspective, as a home one can be in love with. Bradbury fell in love with the monorail not because it was a sci-fi idea, or something from the future, but because it would have been an instrument of love." [LA Times, image via]