Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Train Tracks

I walked home last night. I usually walk a mixture of alleys, streets and shortcuts. I went heavy on the shortcut last night around 3am. I was up late at the business studying for my food safety handling course. I jumped up to the railroad tracks and sort of navigated my way home. I walked a similar route back today. The tracks I walked has the beautiful overpass just north of Fyler on Kingshighway. You can see the faded painted signs on it. It is rarely used. As I jumped up to the tracks I could see the economic bustle of the past, and the adjusment of the economies of today. There is a huge tool and dye operation. There are assembly plants. The rocks along the tracks are large and I had to take care on how I walked on this unlit path. The area is absolutely pedestrian unfriendly. It only regards commerce and business in the design. But I can easily adapt my foot travel in this setting. The buildings are all adjusted to the tracks. They bend with them. They are built around them, not unlike suburban areas are built around highways, or cities businesses had located around rivers back in the day. You can still hear the pressing and hissing of machines. It reminds me of a scene from a movie Dead Man, when the main character during the mid-late 1800s rolls into a western industrializing boom town of Machine to report for a job. The town is rough, brutally honest and blunt. He walks into a early developing steel factory, back when this was an experimental business. Men walk around like robots, unaffected by the intruder. They are on a job. They are all business. No time to worry about other's business.

I feel this time and place in our history as I walk down the tracks, across old buildings and peer through the windows of the shuttered factories. Many are still operating. I passed by one, with a manager who was on a little industrial electric drive scooter who was passing across a small public street that was going from one complex to another. He nodded his head in greeting as a manager should. I can hear the machines clamping in the large rooms. I see graffitti on walls hidden from public viewing, industrial waste of scrap iron, barrels and wood. The lush spring grass and plants are healthy, wild and tall. It is so very beautiful and real.

I love beautiful parkways and walkways, but I find such raw routes even more revealing of who we are as a society, a people and our history and development.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

be careful! a while back I was doing some urban exploration around some train tracks and the train police tried to bust me (seriously). They acted all tough and all and I told them I was looking for my dog and not carrying ID (both untrue) and they let me off with a stern warning.

stay on the down low,


11:29 PM  

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