Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Side Streets



I was asked to show at an art gallery in Chelsea in a couple of months.  I haven't decided exactly what to do, but I've been toying with the idea of contrasting definitions of words.

If I say to someone in the city "side street", they're going to think something totally different than if I say the same thing to someone in the country.  Since I inhabit both places, I find it odd sometimes.

In the city a side street is a quick shortcut that will get you ahead in traffic faster, but it's usually not very clean, generally has a lot of pot holes and I've also noticed that the only reason the side streets in the city seem to exist is because no one has figured out how to build on them yet.

In the country, a side street may take the shorter route in miles, but it usually gets you there much slower, generally unpaved and possibly doesn't actually connect with where you thought you would end up at all.  And the only reason it seems to exist is because someone wanted a road there, so they just started driving that way one day - and eventually the grass turned into a path and then a road.

Country side streets remind me of the shortcut my DH and I took once when we were in the U.P.  We wanted to cut across to get to a highway faster, so we took a side street - having been assured by a local that it would get us where we wanted to go.  

We drove down for awhile, the road sort of became a path through the woods, the street signs were replaced with paper plates (I kid you not) and eventually it stopped at a sign which said - boats only beyond this point.  Probably good advice, because beyond that point was Lake Superior.

What the local had neglected to mention was that it was a road only in the winter when the lake was frozen enough for cars to drive on it.  Since winter in the U.P. lasts a pretty long time, the road was only out for about 12 or so weeks of the year.  

Odd that the road was out due to lack of snow rather than because of snow.

The paper plates, we later found out, were what the snowmobilers used to mark the road.

There was this whole section of the U.P. that didn't have any roads.  At all.  

'Nuff said.

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