I think about this Mission Mission blog post often.
Living in San Francisco since 2011 I missed a great many things. Just one of them, of particular local significance was the Central Freeway’s deep reach into my neck of the woods. Where once stood freeway, felled by plate tectonics and the inertia of bureaucracy, there is now a gentle boulevard with small shops sporting the sleekest of modern urban architecture. Your beer gardens in shipping containers, naturally. The scar of the freeway lingers, still plainly visible in the parcels of land, meandering amid the city grid.
Then, to see the offramp, to see the buildings I know from street level, but more importantly to see it through the eyes of youth on their way to the city to find their Thing. That saturated excitement of exercising the new power of “going to a thing I want to go to”. That thrill of finding a path into that huge world you knew existed outside of your comfortable stomping grounds.
Now that off-ramp is long gone, and clearly for the better. But lingering in the mid-air of those descending curves are cherished ghosts of adventures to be had, those electric nights with streaking lights filtered through breezy branches.
I don’t expect you’re gonna feel my way
But you don’t know the trees that were there before
And now I want them to put back that old corner store