Sunday, August 24, 2008

After riding through Schaumberg...

Chicago definitely does have edge cities, as described in Joel Garreau's book, Edge City. But they aren't anywhere near as exciting as the ones he talked about.

Either that, or he makes them sound a whole hell of a lot more interesting than they really are.

I was going to say I didn't see a single person outside of a car for the entire stretch on Meacham Road (from Beisterfield to Algonquin), though car traffic was very heavy. But I did see a couple people walking near the Schaumberg convention center. Which is on Thoreau Drive.

Weird note: there are lots of roads in the suburbs, but I can't think of one in Chicago. Lots of streets (63rd, State), avenues (the Chicago-grid numbered avenues, as in, "This is a Pink Line train to 54th and Cermak", are actually in Cicero, and the numbered avenues you see on the Eisenhower are in various west-suburban towns, but Ashland and Madison are fine Chicago avenues; so is Chicago Avenue, for that matter), courts (the numbered courts, like the avenues, are in Cicero; McClurg is a Chicago court) places (I live on one, 21st), boulevards (a system of them, in fact; my favorite part of it in some respects is the weird section where it follows Western to California), a couple parkways (Diversey is one), some terraces (Junior Terrace in Uptown) Drives (these tend to be distinctive; King, Lake Shore, and many continuations or fragments of other streets inside of parks), even a plaisance (the Midway). But roads? Actually, while looking at a map for drives, I happened to look in Jackson Park, which I remembered having a 63rd Drive, and saw Marquette Drive. I checked what it was named outside of the park. Marquette Road. I'll probably spend all night looking at maps for more roads, now. I'm guessing there will be some on the far northwest side.

Second weird note (and more important): it occurred to me while I was somewhere shortly east of the Tri-State, still quite far north, and really tired, that the place I was was connected to the building I live in by a network of pavement. And that almost every place in North America is connected to almost every other place in the same way. Ain't it a hoot?

EDIT: OK, so for avenues I should have mentioned Fifth Avenue, which might be a remnant of the old, confusing Chicago address grids (I'll have to check if Forgotten Chicago has any info; some old buildings in Chicago still have both address numbers on them, often in cases where the old number is in stained glass). Fifth Avenue currently runs north-east from Cicero Ave. between Roosevelt and the Eisenhower to a cul-de-sac just short of Madison and California (it's broken up by the Ike, though). I never knew it existed until I ran there once. One of the few places I've run where I felt genuinely unsafe, and would not return to at any time of day. Also, as long as we're on the west side, Pulaski is a road, and a very long and major one at that. So my road count is at two.

5 comments:

Danielle in Iowa said...

You forget about all the country houses on gravel. They are many many here in Iowa!

Oh and did you hear that C-U is having a marathon/half-marathon in April?

Al Dimond said...

Yeah, gravel roads. That's true. Still connected by the conceptual network of roads but not linked by a physical network of pavement, which is really what I was thinking about. Neat. Also some people's driveways are part of the physical network and others' aren't. Which means some people's front doors and such are directly on the network and some aren't. I wonder if this matters in any way...

I didn't hear about the C-U marathon/half. Maybe that should be my first marathon!

heatrose said...

"And that almost every place in North America is connected to almost every other place in the same way. Ain't it a hoot?"

no, it's a Big Lie, and it's telling is contingent on a very narrow definition of place!

Al Dimond said...

Whoa, I really did forget a lot of places. Shows my bias.

It definitely makes me feel better about the whole thing, though.

Al Dimond said...

More roads: Irving Park and Roosevelt! How did I miss those?