Tunnel Vision

I have received so many emails from readers expressing both sympathy for, and interest in, our big snow that I’m going to take back the vow from my last post and focus on snow yet again today. We seem to be in the snow management phase here in Salem: the Mayor called in the National Guard, many (though not all) streets are clear, people are out and about, the snowbanks are stacked high, and the discussion seems focused on commuting and ice dams. Regarding the former, my perspective is that of a pedestrian, and its all about navigating the sidewalk tunnels that have been formed by the looming snowbanks, which are eye-level (my eyes, and I’m pretty short) at best and way, way above my head at worst. I like walking  the mile or so to work even in weather like this, and though I think of myself as a rugged New Englander because of this, yesterday I was put in my place by one of our visiting professors, whose commute includes riding a bicycle (thankfully she is Dutch) from Cambridge to Boston to get the train up to Salem! Now that’s a tough commute–the latter part might be even more difficult than the bike hike as our public transportation system (the MBTA, which we simply call the T) is in full-fledged operational crisis right now–a wake-up call for a city that wants to take on the Olympics, for sure! Certainly my tunnel commute is not so difficult, and I’m always easily distracted……..

Going to work in snowbound Salem: first I check all the leaks in the house before I leave…..this is a little one.

Commute 003

Then I’m off….pretty wide paths downtown, which narrow once you get on Lafayette.

Commute 007

Commute 013

I take little detours to check on my favorite houses, then back in the tunnel, as far as I can go:

Commute 016

Commute 021

Commute 022

Interesting icicle formation…cute little white house, looks like no one is living there, hope they don’t have any ice dams….back on track and end in sight.

Commute 025

Commute 027

Commute 029

Commute 040

Appendix: Design for T-shirt produced to reward heroic snow efforts and fund anti-measures, available through the Mayor’s Office. Of course, it is witchy but it doesn’t seem to bother me as much as usual.


5 responses to “Tunnel Vision

  • lscvt

    This is what it’s like in Marblehead, too, though I could swear a lot of these “tunnels” are taller than they look, sometimes up to my chin or eyes. It’s a little claustrophobic. Also, they are the width of a shovel (unsurprizingly)! I haven’t used my fireplaces yet — I really should! The power has stayed on for nearly everyone all over New England. They had some big outages in recent years, and the utilities were ordered to fix their systems, prune tree branches, etc. It’s our transport system that’s collapsed this time, as you will read. So thankful I don’t have to commute to a job any more! To get to Boston from Salem you would take a train, and from Marblehead it’s a bus (which is slower), but these and the subway are not expected to run on their full schedules until some time in April! It’s the subway and trains which are in the worst shape — anything which runs on rails. I saw the pavement of Waldron St. for the first time in weeks this afternoon, but we’re supposed to get another dusting of snow, so I don’t plan to get too used to it!

    Hope your rock hunting is going well!


  • coldhandboyack

    That’s just amazing.

  • Judy seger

    Thanks Donna!

  • Pam Kentley

    Hello, neighbor! I enjoy reading your musings; it seems you love this wonderful city as much as I do. I was tickled today to see your very pretty photo of MY HOUSE as one if your favorites. 260 Lafayette, at the corner of Laurel. It’s condos now, as you may know, and mine is in the back, with a spectacular original third floor living room. If you ever want to pop over for a glass of wine, I’d love to show it off. Not kidding! In the meantime, thank you for blogging. Cheers!

    • daseger

      Well that is a very special house, Pam–lucky you! I think I’ve featured it several times, and I never tire of walking past it. Beware, I might take you up on your offer!

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