Saturday, April 14, 2007

Let's Think About Bridges

I'll go first. I have been thinking about bridges lately. Actually, I'm pretty sure I think about them a lot; maybe too much. I don't know what it is about bridges that makes them so interesting for me. I suppose I could get all introspective here, and imagine them as metaphors for dealing with life's obstacles blahdy blah blah. But that would be dishonest and end up as a crude ripoff of a really boring novel. I think.

I just like the looks of them. At least the interesting ones. In my local environs:

Blackfriar's Bridge is one of my favourites. In warmer weather I'll take a lunchtime stroll that includes a trip across this bridge. It's a noisy, historic, lovely-to-look-at piece of Secret London. I can't imagine why some local residents would want to get rid of it. Oh...right. This is London, Ontario we're talking about.

The Sarnia Road CPR bridge is actually in my neighbourhood, and I love it. While it's rickety and constantly in need of repair, this wood-and-steel span seems to defy the encroaching development all around it. It's a one-lane bridge serving a two-lane road and, as a result, it forces traffic to wait while oncoming traffic crosses the bridge. Folks treat it as a four-way stop - and waving at the stopped vehicles as you cross is de rigeur in these parts. This is what I love about this bridge: no matter how hurried you might be on any given day, crossing the CPR tracks here forces you to acknowledge your fellow human beings in a courteous way. Just for a minute.

The Guy Lombardo Bridge, I hate. You really can't tell that you're on a bridge, so it's handy that we spent the dough to make a sign. Actually, I think the sign was stolen from a Provincial park - it has that look. Anyways, the bridge spans one of London's best vistas of the Thames River. Why the city erected this drab, flat, concrete shrine to blandness; I cannot say. Although it does make a lovely matched set with the nearby Guy Lombardo Museum. And his music. *rimshot*

So that's my sampling of local bridge-stuff. I could go on, of course, but I want to leave a few bridges for the rest of you. I await your well-crafted witticisms on Lloyd Bridges, Nash Bridges, Todd Bridges, etcetera etcetera.


Sonny Drysdale said...

Let's not forget the Cinderella bridge at the forks of the Thames. It's the foot bridge (I refuse to describe it as 'pedestrian') that connects Becher Street to downtown.

It's composed of two separate walkways and this being London, there are signs and arrows to ensure that walkers headed downtown use the right walkway and those coming from downtown use the bridge on the left.

Sometimes if there's no one around and I'm feeling rebellious, I'll deliberately walk down the wrong side. I've also been known to take 9, sometimes 10 items to the '8 Items or less' aisle at the grocery store.

Crazy - there's also some great railway tressle bridges over the river Thames. The one near the Greenway pollution plant off Springbank Drive is a favorite. It's best experienced when standing right in the middle of it while hoping that a train isn't coming. I think those kids in 'Stand By Me' did that too. I guess it's a right of passage for darn fool kids anywhere.

Kid Dork said...

Must be something about bridges in the Ideaspace these days. I just finished re-reading Virtual Light, which features Golden Gate Bridge being reclaimed by street people. Then the Documentary Channel recently had a doc on the suicides off that same bridge.

Didn't they used to affix Christmas lights to the old Cinderella Bridge years ago? Or is that the other London you go to when you have too much peyote?

Sonny Drysdale said...

KD - you're absolutely right about those Christmas lights - I haven't thought of that in years, so thanks for the reminder.

This year we had to make do with Christmas lights on the top of that big crane across from the JLC. Which was kinda cool and magical in itself, all things considered. Very Disneyland at night along the banks of the river 'Walt.'

They used to do something similar on firecracker wknd too.

And we're talking about not too long ago - between five and ten years? I blame it all on Paul Berton for cancelling the Free Press sponsorship of the Canada Day fireworks.

Well, Paul and 'Marvelous Marv, from the Gibralter Trade Centre' - but maybe I've said toooo much.

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