In the last week, i have had access to the Old Family Van. There is a New Family Van, that exists in Stanwood, Washington, where the only way to get places is in vans, preferably family ones, because what sort of person are you?
This was facilitated by a post-vacation wrap-up-family-viewing of John Carter and the Olympics (there's an opportunity for a joke here about ridiculous physical feats and gratuitously sexy costumes) and realizing that it was 12:45 am and I was in Greenwood, but lived in Rainier Beach, and thus, a van was loaned.
It's hard, when you have access to a car, to give up said access. Even for a transit-appreciator like myself, the ones-own-scheduleness of a car is a real thing.
There's a few things, though: 1) Not sure if it's the air filter, or something more sinister, but the engine stops. Usually at red lights, but occasionally just, you know, when driving. So the freeway is out, as the procedure then is to put into Park, shut down, restart, drive. This can take less than five seconds, once you're up to speed,
but 4 seconds on the Lake Union Bridge. . .
2) The whole thing always feels like it is about to crumble into bits and pieces. It has a vibrato to it that many a trained singer would be envious of (or try to avoid? I try to avoid trained singers.)
3) The brakes are fine, but sometimes it feels like they might not be, or rationally, could be the next thing to go, in this shaky stop-and-start beast that renders a trip from Columbia City to Ballard a near hour of travel.
This has led to a lot of ducking and trekking through less-traveled Seattle backstreets, neighborhoods, figuring out which bridges I'm least likely to die on, which arterials have convenient side lanes I can coast into should the engine cut out at 40 miles per hour.
And something that's come to mind is: Seattle's neighborhood names are kinda boring. I know that everywhere has boring neighborhood names, but a name like Fishtown at least gives a peak at history, and more importantly for my very shallow purposes, SOUNDS interesting.
Because while sputtering from the edges of Maple Leaf into View Ridge Heights and Broadview and Leafton Park Pines and Pinehurst and Greenwood and Meadow Ridge I couldn't help think:
Where the fuck is our Hell's Kitchen? I WANT THE TENDERLOIN.
Yes, yes, history, blah blah, property values, blah blah, monsters. I wish you could drive from, say Maple Leaf, turn a corner and be in Cannibal Ridge.