Bridge to Augsburgithia

June 2, 2010


All day long, I was trying to think of someplace to explore where I hadn???t been before, which would make me feel uncomfortable being there, and which was conveniently located due to my feeling that I never have enough time. I realized that if it were conveniently located, it would be unlikely to make me feel uncomfortable because convenience would mean it was somewhere between home and work.

If I had had more ambition, I thought it would be interesting to go to a Mexican restaurant in a Latino neighborhood. I had two years of Spanish in junior high and can get the gist of a conversation and pronounce menu items correctly. When I go to Chicago, I always listen to the Spanish language radio stations in the car. Going to a Mexican restaurant would be uncomfortable but would have a delicious payout. Today was a lazy day.

By the time I left work, I had instead convinced myself that Pizza Luc?? would be the perfect supper, no discomfort necessary. In addition to whole pies, they sell by the slice and each day feature different meat and veggie selections. The only question was whether to go to the one a couple of block from my office or the one a few blocks from my home. I chose home.

The Seward Neighborhood Pizza Luc?? is about a half mile further. To get to it, I have to cross I-94 and then travel a few blocks on a busy street. I rode on the sidewalk going and resolved to take the side street between the freeway and the busy street on the way back.

I picked up my slices and headed to the side street. Trouble was, it was one-way in the opposite direction that I needed to go. Maybe it makes me sappy, but as a bicyclist I do follow the rules of the road 98% of the time. I don???t blow through red lights and I come to a complete stop at stop signs even when no one???s there. I prefer not to ride on the sidewalk (though I will), and riding the wrong way just isn???t right.

So I paused at the corner, debating which was the lesser of the two evils, sidewalk or wrong way. I just happened to look the other way and spied the solution to my dilemma???a pedestrian bridge over the interstate. And it fulfilled another need, to explore someplace new.

I???d never even realized it was there. It???s just to the east of 22nd Avenue and crosses to Augsburg College. There was nothing uncomfortable about it, though as I stood still to take the pictures, it was disconcerting to feel the vibrations caused by the traffic hurtling past underneath. I???d never been in the part of Augsburg where it came out. I found myself at a little town square type park and another one-way street going in the opposite direction. This time I only had to go one block against the grain so I said screw it, yet it that short distance I had to dodge two cars and one pedestrian.

I got home and enjoyed some tasty pizza.

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