Friday, December 16, 2022

The bridge


When the weather stops being vicious around here for a few hours I try to go out walking. The other day I went out on the bridge over the Mississippi. This is a massively improved bridge, a sturdy bridge, a feat of engineering. First of all, it spans the mighty river of legend, affording astonishing views up and down the Mississippi all swathed in its clothing of tiny wildernesses. High as it is it also offers views of Saint Minneapolis, which, downtown, rises up on its glimmering towers like some kind of enchanted Oz. Also it has wide paths for walking in protected lanes next to the traffic, stone pillars offering a sense of occasion, enchanting lighting, and even benches and lookout platforms. In short, it's a great bridge.

So why do I hate it?

I guess four lanes of traffic can ruin anything. There is no worthwhile transit here, no charm, no commerce, no sense of being anywhere, just an indescribable feeling of miles of concrete. Though some of us try to use this bridge in other ways, 90 percent of this bridge's functionality is designed to ferry cars back and forth. A place that should be a destination at the heart of the city, is barely more than a sacrifice to the car.

I suppose this is why so often when I cross this bridge I take pictures of it and then come home and try to improve it. You've seen some of my improved pictures, right? Some of them are pretty nice. So the fact that these pictures still kind of struggle speaks, I think, to some of our cities problems. 

Nevertheless, here are my best attempts to humanize my bridge so far. I have a long way to go:

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