Monday, September 03, 2007

Freeways and Bridges, Oh My!

My friend Susan is visiting from Oakland with her boyfriend Brian this week. Susan and I have been friends for 20 years (!?) and met at VT's GIA which is basically a summer camp for arty freaks (also attended by my HS pal, Guppy Boy's Zach Ward mind you).

We got to talking about Oakland and how different life is there from here. I got a bit nostalgic, I admit it. I started missing the spectacle, the immense views, the ocean, the speed, the lit-up night sky, the "Ooohs" and the "Ahhhs" and my favorite Italian restaurant Lo Cocos' tiramisu.

My nostalgia turned to mud, however, when I discovered that the Bay Bridge is CLOSED for the weekend for the new freeway construction (coverage here). This means that you have to take a HUGE, traffic-filled detour to get into the city which basically means you are SCREWED.

That is the thing about life in the Bay Area, you are ridiculously dependent on cars, freeways, BARTS and the like. Without transport over the water, you are stuck. Kind of like how I am stuck in Vermont but different.

To make matters worse, I discovered that a MAJOR part of the freeway recently crumpled into nothing - POOF. In April, a section of the MacAurthur Maze collapsed when a tanker truck caught on fire (story and creepy pics here).

I used to take this bit of freeway home EVERY single night. And in an instant it was just...gone?! And it was not even an earthquake that took it out, just a tanker truck? How random? How surprising? How Bay Area.

Even more astonishing, the connector was rebuilt only 26 days after the original accident for the minor fee of $90 million. Ba da bing.

Life in the Bay Area is fluid. You gotta roll with the bridge closings, freeways collapses and other sporadic punches or you will get knocked out.

I could not be any more glad that I am stuck here in VT where life takes a much slower pace and there are no bridges or freeways to fall on top of my head, just packs of carousing college students looking for the next best party.

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