Choke Point

by Kieran Healy on April 29, 2007

SF map


(04-29) 11:49 PDT OAKLAND — A huge ball of fire from an exploding gasoline tanker truck caused an overpass in the MacArthur Maze in the East Bay near the Bay Bridge to collapse on top of the highway below early Sunday, virtually ensuring major traffic problems and confusion for weeks to come. The intense heat crumbled the elevated roadway that carried eastbound traffic from the Bay Bridge onto Interstates 580 and 980 and state Highway 24. The broken concrete fell like a blanket over the connector roadway from southbound Interstate 80 to I-880.

Good luck with that commute tomorrow.

the irony ….

by Chris Bertram on April 29, 2007

(Those who don’t know about Bristol’s most famous “artist” can google for “Banksy” or check the Wikipedia.)


Into the West

by Kieran Healy on April 29, 2007

New Yorker Matt Yglesias’s westward march, from Washington DC to Santa Fe and maybe beyond, has been attracting some attention. So far the highlight has been what you might call the Fashion Trail of Tears, pictured here. An iconic image, I think. Today he freely admits to never having heard of Kit Carson (knowledge of whom had even made it to the Ireland of my youth) and notices how sunny it is in New Mexico.

Maybe Matt will continue west and get to Tucson and see the saguaros. (“Some kind of spiny tree.”) Of course, I’m a relatively recent transplant to the Southwest myself. One thing I didn’t want to have happen when I moved out here was to succumb to a common disease of grad students recently relocated to new jobs, which is to chronically pretend you are still living on the campus where you got your degree, or — worse — in the downtown NY apartment or beachfront West Coast condo you daily fantasized about living while writing your dissertation. So I bought a mountain bike and started exploring.

Although it takes a long time to really get to know a place, it’s surprising how quickly you can adapt to some things. For example, I can now wear jeans in the kind of summer temperatures that, when I first moved here, I didn’t think were capable of sustaining human or other animal life.