Thursday, November 20, 2014

In Which Snow Should Give Way To Stars

C Avenue sidewalk around 8 a.m. Wednesday morning. Snow fell Sunday but it has been very cold since and little has melted. Not enough, it would appear, has been shoveled, either. but if you are careful you can pick you way via bicycle to the top of this hill--take my word for it. I tested that theory.
As you can see, the commute Wednesday morning was slightly treacherous in parts. The C Avenue  sidewalk was not totally ice covered, but covered enough it required great care in the morning. 37th street, part of the “land that snowplows forgot,” the neighborhoods around Kenwood School, was, true to form, especially icy on a downhill stretch.

37th Street. No optical illusion, we're looking at a downhill stretch straight into a slick icy patch. Did I and Francis survive? Well, are you reading my blog?

Still, overall the commute was not all that bad, and was better by that evening. This morning was windy and cold, and I sorely wished I had found a headband that could fit under my hood and helmet, but the sidewalks and streets are slowly improving.

On even cold winter days, sunshine will do that. It turns ice into vapor, and whatever bare patch of pavement there is will warm enough, even if the air is colder than freezing, to make the ice slowly disappear.

So I don’t regret biking Wednesday nor today. I do regret, a little, that I haven’t fixed a winter beater bike yet—wider tires would be nice—but Francis has been of use.

I don’t have any late afternoon appointments, and so may leave while the sun still shines on this cold afternoon. If so, I might check out the Cedar River Trail—in the past, the city has actually plowed that trail, and if it’s clear, it may be a nicer route than dodging ice on 37th Street.

I can’t help but look at that trail a bit differently, however. It could be so much more.

My sister Antonia posted a link on Facebook to an NPR story that described a bike trail in a Dutch town inspired by the Van Gogh painting “starry night.”

Photo of a Dutch bike trail that I really want to ride on. From the company that created it, Studio Roosegaarde:

Our own artistic heritage in Cedar Rapids is usually pegged to Grant Wood. But he was in Europe at one time. Surely he may have seen a Van Gogh—or, at least, some starry nights in France.

Some Dutch Person at twilight on a solar-powered starry trail. Can we do this around Cedar Lake, please?

That should be enough. Let’s claim Cedar Rapids as Van Gogh’s American vacation playground that he just never got around to. If Riverside can be the future home of Captain Kirk, we can be the could-have-been-but-weren’t American hideaway of Van Gogh.

And then we could do this to our trail. And that would be so cool. And we would have a new theme song for the City of Five Artistic Seasons, too:

No comments:

Post a Comment