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Rivers of the World

June 19, 2009

Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.
The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers,
Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends
Or other testimony of summer nights. The nymphs are departed.

T.S. Eliot The Wasteland

Pictured above is the Tiber River in central Rome, Trastevere side by the ex-convent San Michele, photographed yesterday.  Long after last fall’s flooding, the lush trees along the river’s banks were left filled with plastic trash bags and other detritus.  Finally in late spring a solution, after a long campaign to get the city to clean up the area, crews came in and removed the majority of the trees (including the trash of course) leaving a desolate landscape in the place of the previous green belt.  Today the river’s banks are lined with commerce, mostly bars and restaurants, an annual tradition of questionable success, but what is worse is that this has opened the gates to a new flood, a flood of automobiles onto the pedestrian walkways and bike paths.  Can’t we at least keep the city’s natural sites car-free?

By contrast, here are some photo’s of other cities’ rivers (Boston, Paris, London).

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