Old boys have their playthings as well as young ones; the difference is only in the price.
Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790)
‘Tis a gloomy day in the neighborhood today. The good news, is that it rained last night (not enough though) and it may rain some more today. The bad news is that yesterday road construction crews moved in to the block surrounding the Three Threes and began tearing up the street. They are going to be working on the infrastructure under the street.
We had forewarning of this. A rather hilarious note shoved under our doors that got everyone’s attention for sure. It began “YOU SHOULD READ THIS: 1)If you are a person who lives in this building and uses water.”
That Gina, she knows how to make a point without smacking these people around with a newspaper. Most of them ignore half of what is sent out to them. And then have conniption fits when the dreaded even occurs. This notice was the talk of the building! Gina’s a hoot! I think we should keep her and bring her small offerings every third Monday. But I like irreverent people in general.
Anyway the construction guys got their big old toys out there and started doing some serious damage to the asphalt and concrete at 7:30 am yesterday morning. Somehow I didn’t expect noise and an unholy stink like somebody gave a great cosmic fart. I took a prompt vacation to Egypt when I read street work. I have my own luxury barge on De Nile.
You see when they finally finished The Metropolitan PLace and The Overture Center and the road work on State Street close to the Three Threes, I heaved a big sigh of relief and thought finally I can enjoy a summer free of jackhammers and the beep beep beep of vehicles constantly backing up. WRONG
I thought could just go back to dealing with the Madison Fire Department Engine 1’s frequent runs to help rescue someone from disasters. But I’ve gotten used to them. Their sirens and police sirens are like a musical backdrop to the rest of the city going by. I thought it would be quiet this pretty summer. WRONG
Come to think of it, how are the fire guys and gals going to get out to put our their fires? Oh my… They’ll be grounded for the duration. Poor fire people. (this is supposed to be done in mid August. uh huh. Maybe some of us better go voluteer to hold shovels so the shovel holders can do something else so they can accomplsh that goal. <snark> I figure if they get done by my birthday in September I will be happy.)
Meanwhile I’m turning on the radio LOUD and getting into some tunes to cope instead of the relative silence I usually like. Magic 98.1 today. WJJO tonight. Who knows what tomorrow. Wisconsin Public Radio? Maye my Horowiz Cds. Wild and woolly Piano! oooh and Pink Floyd.
I like to hear the city go by though. I like to listen to the birds in the trees and the planes flying over head to land at the Dane County Regional Airport and the occasional fancy Air Force planes that are going to Truax Field and the Black Helicopters flyng in formation at night. I like hearing the wind pick up and die down.
I like listening to traffic and knowing it’s rush hour when I can see Johnson Street backing up and people in their cars getting impatient to get home. I like to hear people talking on the streets and Nicky coming to work at Dorn’s Hardware on that radical skate board of his. Life in “The Tower” is good.
Someday I am going to find I don’t even hear construction toys either because by golly this town is always “under construction.” I haven’t decided if that is good or bad.
The gentrification of downtown Madison is inevitable but is it GOOD? What are we losing in the process and what are we gaining? It remains to be seen. I think it might be a mixed blessing but it sure is interesting to be part of and watch the process.
PS: This all means I have to go to bed at a “decent” hour and get up with the Caterpillars–the big yellow ones that growl when those construction guys start them. And the sun. But I like the wee hours of the morning when the Muse and I can commune without interruption. Nobody EVER calls me at 3am. Well maybe I’ll go to bed at sunset and get up at 3am. hmmmm… NO. Just no.
BTW, those guys? They look like they are having a lot of fun and the one I asked this afternoon agreed he was–look at his toys he said with a big grin. I asked if I could play with his toys and he lauged at me. Not nice. Men never want to share the fun stuff.