Most cities are looking to stalk people with money because they consider that birds of a feather flock together. As an Austinite, this is amusing because my hometown has prostrated itself profusely for people with money, even stalking non-white people with the police–and most of the population is still middle class. In truth, people with money do not advertise their presence because most have enough money to gain people’s attention if necessary. This is one reason why Fort Worth has three world-renowned architects on two blocks, and people travel to see them. Without a car, however, one is swiftly reminded of who should have access to culture.
The Kimbell Museum was designed by Louis Kahn, a European migrant who also taught at Yale University. Kahn was largely known for his geometric patterns, and many architects travel to Fort Worth to see his dedication to simplistic perfection. On the same property is the Renzo Piano Pavilion, and upon inspection, it is clear that Piano was tapped for his capacity to compliment the style of Louis Kahn, having worked with him. Across the street is the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, my favorite of the three simply because the architect who designed it was a Japanese boxer, which is an interesting background against Yale professors.
Because I had no vehicle, I took a taxi to the location and walked around the block looking for a bus stop just in case. I was relieved not to have taken the bus because I did not see a single stop. Parking lots were prominently featured at all three buildings, but the public transportation was not. A docent informed me about two buses and I later found it on the system map, but it would have been comforting to know that I would have arrived closer than expected. After all, people were conditioned to drive once public transportation was integrated, so a lot of areas either 1) lack public transportation, or 2) have it set apart from amenities.
Also, when I travel, I take a backpack so that I have anything I might need, and I was asked to check it upon entry. Most places do not like backpacks because they are associated with theft. Purses that cost thousands of dollars and can host a picnic? Check. Backpacks? Nope. Again, the assumption is that I either live in the area or I travel by car, so I have an alternative to carrying my belongings.
The reason why I discussed people with money and switched to vehicles is because the rising cost of owning a personal vehicle means that having a car will start to differentiate class status. Instead of being a necessity, younger people will choose to take day trips rather than devote hundreds of dollars a month for a driveable purse. Instead of gas, people will find other ways to access Louis Kahn and Tadao Ando. Culture should have nothing to do with class because no one should have to be exceptional to survive in an advanced society.