With apologies to Petula Clark

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Today I had an appointment downtown in Saint Paul.  The lights weren’t much brighter there because it was the middle of the day. And I certainly didn’t forget all my troubles or cares.

What I found odd, was that there was almost no one walking on the streets.  Sure there were a few sketchy folks wandering about…saying hello to me as I passed by…  They weren’t being friendly.  I lived in San Francisco long enough to know when a hello means hello and when it means someone is looking for trouble.

I just walked on the sidewalk to my destination, pissed off and making sure my face looked like I wasn’t going to take any shit as I clutched my purse.  Unfortunately, I had to have my phone out so I could figure out where the hell I was going.

I couldn’t park in the building of my appointment because the lot was full.  That didn’t bother me much.  I am used to parking challenges having lived in the Bay Area for 10 years. I parked in a building I thought was just down the block.  Of course, getting out of the building and to the street put me further away from my destination than I felt comfortable.

When I finally reached my appointment, cold hands, sweating from exertion, and slightly pissed at being in an area that felt about as safe as the Tenderloin or Upper Market (maybe I was being dramatic), I decided I would rather work in the suburbs than downtown.  I will work downtown if that’s where my dream job is, but I’d prefer the laid back attitude of the suburbs.  Plus, I could live close enough to work to have a short commute.

After my appointment, I noticed something in the elevator…a button that said “SKY” on the second floor of the building.

Intrigued, I pushed it.  If it lead me to a dead end, I would just get back in the elevator and put my “fuck off” face back on and make it to the car with the determination of my pioneer/conquistador ancestors.

The doors opened to…a shopping mecca. It was FILLED with people.  People who in every other city (at least on the West Coast) would have been at street level, wandering about in search of their coffee, lunch and/or business meetings.

Notice how few pedestrians are on the sidewalks.

Notice how few pedestrians are on the sidewalks.

In a daze, I remembered my Dad telling me about this place called a Skyway.  Some mythical place that included an interconnected series of walkways to various buildings.  I was nothing like I imagined.  It was freaking awesome!

Slowly, but surely my problem solving abilities returned to my awareness.  I found a map.  It had the building on it where I parked.  I didn’t have to go back downstairs to street level and face any likely imagined fear of being mugged.

After my Skyway experience, I began to wonder about the food trucks.  If most people downtown are wandering around on the 2nd floor, where do the food trucks congregate?  I know they probably only operate in the spring, but I still wonder.  Do people leave their wonderful tubes and meander outside to enjoy a gourmet treat or two?  I shall have to investigate.

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