Monday, August 06, 2007

Bittersweet Weekend

I still have one more topic to write about from my suggestion bin. It’s really a good one and I can’t wait to get to it. For today though, I thought I’d fill you in on my weekend with Dean.
The emotional issues aren’t quite as extreme as they have been in the past. Either (a) we are getting used to this arrangement or (b) I am so excited at the prospect of going back to Florida in just three weeks that I’m determined not to let anything bother me. I prefer to think it’s the latter.

Dean flew in late Thursday night. And since I’m a peon with no vacation time, I had to work Friday so his parents got him all to themselves. After work though, we met up at the Mall of America to take the light rail to the Twins game. We usually do this because his parents’ house is close to the mall and we’d prefer to park there rather than downtown and deal with parking and traffic. In light of recent events, that was probably the smartest thing to do, and it seems every other Minneapolitan going to the game agreed because the light rail was packed.

The game was unremarkable. For somebody who as of late enjoys running his mouth to the media, Santana has not looked like a reigning Cy Young award winner. Both Matt Garza and Scott Baker have out-shined him in their most recent starts. Granted, as usual our offense didn’t give him much run support. But if you are going to blast the Twins organization in the paper, at least keep the ball in the ballpark for one start. We did have amazing seats however. Thirty-one rows back directly behind home plate. We could have been in Hammond Stadium rather than the Metrodome. We only snacked at the game and afterwards we walked over to Seven Corners, one of our old haunts from our days at the U of MN.

To get there from the Dome, you walk up Washington Avenue, across the 35W overpass. Even south of Washington Avenue, 35W was closed off. We were thoroughly creeped out at the sight of an empty 35W, the only freeway running North-South through Minneapolis. We couldn’t see the bridge from the overpass, but we were very close to where it used to begin. The overpass also approached the back side of the Metrodome Holiday Inn, where the media and the victims’ families have been staying. The back lot was full of vans- CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, etc. That was a strange sight as well. Our initial thought was to walk up to the 10th Ave Bridge, the bridge directly to the east (and the other one in all the pictures). We were surprised to see that it was closed because it would have definitely been the most logical 35W detour. We were unaware of the extent to which city officials were going to keep onlookers away from the site. Instead, we stood in the parking lot of the Seven Corners apartment building and were able to see just a little bit. We saw the doubled over south side of the bridge and all the twisted metal. We were able to infer how the road was plunged into the river, but we couldn’t see any further than about half way down. The deformed metal blocked the view to the north side of the road, but we could see the very top where some of the cars were still stranded. It was an eerie sight indeed and brought tears to my eyes.

I was sad of course because of the magnitude of this tragedy that our city is facing. I was sad that all the news people are here and making a circus of the situation, and making our city into a poster child for poor infrastructure. But selfishly, more than this I was sad because Dean and I were standing so close to where some of the best times of our lives took place. We hadn’t been back to the East Bank of the U since we moved to Florida. It’s not that far, we just never had time or reason to. We regularly walked across the 10th Ave Bridge, which was now closed off with police cars. Our old home was just on the other side, but out of reach. When we packed up and moved away (and yes drove across the bridge) five years ago, we never ever expected that the next time we looked out across the Mississippi we would see a disaster. In fact, on my list of things to do while here, I had planned on going to the old neighborhood, perhaps taking a nostalgic trip past my two old apartments and eating at the fantastic restaurants in Dinkytown. Probably not likely at this point.

The rest of the weekend was uneventful, just enjoying each other and family time. I missed Dean but thought it was important for him to spend time with his brother before he goes away to college in just a few weeks. I am proud to report there were no tears at the airport, just a promise to see him in three weeks and not leave his side for a very long time.


Runner Girl FL said...

I'm glad you had a good weekend. I'm sure it's easier now that you have settled in at work and knowing that it is only a little longer till you come home. Tampa misses you. Trangs misses you, Loki even misses you. :)

MyUtopia said...

Sorry I left out Mini, they have moved up quite a bit in the rankings.

Beth said...

I found your whole post bittersweet. I just saw footage of the Minneapolis disaster on TV, but I always think reporters are soulless. They feed off of tragedy.

I'm glad you're all right, keeping your chin up, with only 3 weeks to go!

magnetbabe said...

That aggravates me more than anything right now, the feeding off the tragedy. At the height of it, it was so obvious they wanted more casualties. They kept prematurely raising the death toll, the missing toll and would get a little too excited when they thought there might be an opportunity to break more bad news. Disgusting.