Old Town, present tense

I was in Old Town, Alexandria the other night. I’ve only been there a handful of times, but like so many other old towns in towns and cities across the country, it lives up to its name as a place where an older America knew how to build homes and businesses and streets and sidewalks and roads in a way where each element complements the other and where walking and living and shopping and eating and simply experiencing the place is enjoyable. There’s a feeling of wholeness in the best Old Towns that you want to bring with you. I ask both rhetorically and earnestly: why can’t we learn how to build these places now? We can built new Old Towns.