I took this photo while at a red light on Leesburg Pike in Falls Church, Virginia near Bailey’s Crossroads.
What we’re seeing is a whole built environment, an entire intentionally crafting landscape, in what is probably literally its best possible light. And still, nearly everything is still bad and suggests a lack of intention.
A gargantuan, undistinguished, glum-to-look-at rectangular apartment tower, with another just off to the left. Super-tall highway-style street lamps. Traffic lights strung across suspension-wire. An intersection too large for the youngest and oldest living nearby to cross comfortably. A thin median offering no protection from oncoming traffic that might jump the meager curb height. A sea of asphalt.
The trees and modest shrubs are arguably the only soft and attractive things in this scene. The apartment tower would look all the more titanic without those two large trees obscuring its lower floors.
They’ll tell us this is normal, but all that has been normalized is banality.