Excursion 6, Part 2 (The Deception of Distance)

In which our intrepid hero encounters dead trees, dead cars and dead buildings…

One of the most interesting things about taking back-country drives is that the scale of everything changes.  The distance scale, for example, grows enormously.  Ohio is a relatively small state, and I am centrally located within it, so theoretically I can reach even the most distant parts of the state in three and a half hours.  But that is making a bee-line on a highway.  Once you start driving on curvy, back-country roads, especially driving relatively slowly to spot potential subjects for photographs (and stopping on occasion to actually take them), 20 miles somehow becomes a great distant, not a short jaunt.  Sixty miles is a huge distance.  On the other hand, the time scale slows down.  Because you are in no particular hurry, and paying attention to your surroundings rather than the clock, time passes quickly for you.  The combination of these two means that you can spend many, many hours in a vehicle and discover that you have really never driven more than 60 miles away from your starting point (though your total mileage may be much greater).

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Excursion 6, Part 1 (Passing Through Linden)

In which our intrepid hero drives on Cleveland rather than to it…

My sixth excursion was a trip primarily in northeast central Ohio.  Rather than take the quick way out of town, I deliberately headed north out of Columbus on Cleveland Avenue, so that I could take some pictures of Linden on the way out.  Linden (a neighborhood in Columbus, divided into North Linden and South Linden) is considered one of the “worst” areas of Columbus (“the Bottoms” in Franklinton is right up there, too).  South Linden is considered worse.  Income levels are about half of the Columbus average and crime is higher, too.  Cleveland Avenue is the main “drag” that passes north through and bisects Linden.  One can readily see signs of blight driving up Cleveland Avenue.  There have been various attempts to reinvigorate Linden, especially South Linden, but they have had mixed success at best.  And yet, it is important to note that “blight” is relative.  Let me illustrate what I mean.

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