Today is Blog Action Day 08.
I'm supposed to write about poverty. I only found out about Blog Action Day yesterday, and I haven't been inspired to write anything. Just write about poverty. Why not try writing about peace or consumerism or greed or love or anything other category so entirely vague that it leaves the door wide open for all kinds of interesting discourse.
But it unfortunately leaves my mind blank.
Instead, I'll write about post offices in Austin. I just went to the post office on East Sixth Street. It's one of maybe two post offices on the East Side (this town is lacking in post offices and there are almost always lines). The one on East Sixth looks like it was built in the 60s and hasn't been renovated since. The floors are dingy, the flourescent lights are oppessively bright (although some bulbs are out). There's a poor selection of mailing supplies on sale, and the stamps in the display case are still priced at 39 cents.
Compared to the very new post office on trendy South Congress, the East Sixth branch is quite sad. I won't go as far as to accuse the postal service of neglecting the East Side, and the staff at the East Sixth branch are quite helpful and seem to take their jobs seriously (no pity parties there).
But I still wonder - is it any coincidence that the post offices are nicer in the parts of town where the new condos are being built and houses are selling at $400,000 upwards?
That said, I've been to some beautiful new libraries on the East Side. The Terrazas branch and the Ruiz branch, both east of I-35 and both beautiful facilities, are much better than the sad Twin Oaks branch just off the same trendy South Congress. So I can't say that the city is entirely neglecting East Austin. But the disparities are noticeable, and I wonder in what ways we can make up for them.