© Ryan Chernik/RyanChernik.com

1. Traffic

But in Saint Paul. O, Saint Paul! I can get from my house to my office downtown in six minutes. Using Google Maps, I can see that someplace is ten minutes away, and I get there in eight. This means I have control over the events of my life and I know what will happen to me in the course of my day.

Please understand that this is not how things work in other major American metropolitan areas. In places like San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, or Dallas, people can get in a car to cross a city and have no earthly idea when they’ll arrive at their destination.

2. Medium Pacing

3. Things Hold Still

But in Saint Paul! O, Saint Paul! Everything stays put. And not just seismically. The people stay put too. The tectonic plates of human events don’t leave people adrift like human Pangea chunks. “Oh, I’m not from here,” said one of my new neighbors when I first moved here, “I grew up in Mendota Heights.” What did she do, walk?

4. The Otherness of Not Being Minneapolis

5. The Incomprehensibility of City Planning


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Posted in: Prose
Tagged: 2014