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08 February 2011

My Life > You Not Being Lost Downtown

So, I have been a downtown resident for less than a year.  If you count the time I stayed with Jeff without paying rent, its more like a year and a half.  I gotta say, living downtown really changes you in a lot of ways.

For example,  I am more afraid to walk to my car in the suburbs than I am in the city.  Reason being?  It is too damn quiet out there.  And too damn dark.  I mean, whats up with the no street light thing?  I do not call that safe.  Anyone could jump outta the dark and grab you, and who would know? No one.  Because no one is ever outside in the pitch black.

Also, my perception of driving versus walking has changed.  I used to not even want to walk up the block to the corner store when I was at UC, now I'll walk right over to Newport (weather permitting).  Driving any distance over a half hour is completely acceptable.  But ask me to drive ten minutes to Clifton or Hyde Park?  Meehhh... I'll think about it.  If the trip isn't important it just seems like a waste of time.

However, the way I have changed the most definitely has to do with my tolerance for folks that don't know their way around downtown.  Let me let you in on a little secret, my downtown inferior friends:  If you miss your turn, you can drive around the damn block.  Nothing bad will happen to you if you miss your street-- Three rights and a straight and you're headed in the right direction once again!  Amazing!

Now, don't get me wrong, I am glad that people who live outside of downtown are coming to hang out, but for the sake of my safety, learn your way around, get a GPS, MapQuest it, or stop for directions.

I bring this up because as I was driving home from Bellevue a while ago I nearly died that the hands or tires, rather, of a confused man in a giant suburban. (No pun intended)  Now, I realize many of you do not live downtown, so I've opened up that wonderful program called "Paint" and drawn a few diagrams to help you understand what this idiot did.

When I come home form the Bellevue Kroger (memorial Pkwy, not Newport)  I take 471 to the US 50/ W 3rd St. exit, keeping straight toward I-71/ I-75 S/ Third Street.  As you approach the end of the ramp this is what the intersection looks like.  If you'll notice, there are SIX lanes.  If you are going straight, however, it is wise to use the four center most lanes (The ones with only straight arrows).
For demonstration purposes I am represented by the bright, gold, shining star that I am.  And the Idiot will be represented by the harsh, lightning bolt that he almost was.  Notice, I am in the center most lane of the left side off ramp, he- the center most lane of the right side off ramp- two different entrances from two different places on the highway that even stay divided as you continue onto Third Street.  In addition please not the NO LEFT TURN sign hanging directly next to his lane's traffic light- because he sure didn't
So as I am approaching Third Street I stay in my lane and continue straight through the Broadway/Third street intersection. (My arrows are pink)  And the jackass in the Suburban decides FROM THE RIGHT SIDE to turn left down Broadway!!  Instinct (or whatever) kicked in and I punched the gas hard, while Idiot missed me by inches from the back.  If I would have hit my brakes instead, that giant car would have plowed right into the passenger side door on my teeny-tiny 2 door civic.

So, downtown aliens just in for the night:  KNOW WHERE THE HELL YOU ARE GOING-- IF YOU MISS YOUR TURN, ALL IS NOT LOST, JUST DRIVE AROUND THE NEXT FREAKIN' BLOCK-- AND FOR GOODNESS SAKE OBEY THE DAMN SIGNS, THEY ARE THERE IN CASE OF A SITUATION EXACTLY LIKE THIS ONE.

Once you have mastered the complexities that are "city blocks" then, and only then, please come on down and share this awesome city with me, safely, and in one piece.

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