Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ye Olde Village of Seattle

One of the things I’m really liking about this winter’s great ice and snow-in, (besides that fact that it gives one an excuse to have a midday snort of brown liquor as a way to warm up) is how it has, to an extent (and more Thursday night and Friday than today), kicked our little town into a kind of post-petroleum world, one where not too many cars are out on the roads and in which lots of people are doing their errands on foot, that is, if they’re doing them at all and not just staying home, cocooned after those aforementioned midday libations.

Walking (or biking) around at night, it especially feels like you’re living in a quaint little village somewhere. Jen and I, with Mimi and the neighbor kids, walked over the Madrona Alehouse around 8:00 last evening and only one car passed us the whole time. The kids got a thrill out of dancing the Macarena in snowy intersections, with nary an automobile in sight.

Today, more people, some clearly suffering from cabin fever, are venturing out in their automobiles, and the sound of tire chains clattering on the ice fills the air; even so, my little trip to the coop for a few essentials felt almost like the way over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house; that’s how essentially rustic it seemed.

I’m still getting the look of amazement and the occasional thumbs-up from people shocked to see a person out on two wheels; I’m still certain, though, that I’m safer and less likely to end up upside-down in a ditch than anybody behind the wheel of a car.

In any case, there’s room for all kinds in our happy little village; today, for example, is the annual Santarchy event in which some dozens of drunks in Santa suits careen around town; I may try to catch the festivities later, but first, for sure, it’s time for my midday warmup.


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