How ’bout a short Drive? [Old Men & Coffee Shops]

Joe’s Café & Coffee (Pretty Good Food @ Great Coffee) was as usual relatively busy—at least for this time of the morning. The discussion inside had turned to religion; a topic neither Carl or I wished to weigh in on—particularly on a Sunday, so we decided to enjoy our mugs of organically & shade-grown, Fair-Trade, Sumatran-Blend coffee outside on the delightful Sunday morning. I had some errands to run and thought today would be a good day to make use of the recently-drawn 1957 Buick Roadmaster convertible with the predictable (if you know me) moniker “Gandalf.” Keep in mind, the vintage Datsun 2000 Roadster I used in the Port of Danger Bay is called “Shadowfax” there’s a bit of a theme going on here. No, I’m no living in the basement of my mother Tolkein-geek, I enjoy the Lord of the Rings; I don’t live it…sheesh!

“So, you're thinking of venturing into West Saint Paul?”

So, you’re thinking of venturing into West Saint Paul?”

Reluctantly,” I replied, “The stuff I’m looking for today is just not available locally. It’s even worse; I have to brave the BIG BOX stores for what I need.”

Building supplies?”

Gotta extend my front fence since my neighbor had his garage built and in so doing added to my wall.”

About a quarter of eight Carl Daisy and I climbed into our boulevard cruiser for the trip onto the suburbs; all of us had our passports and visas with us—one never knows when the border patrol may be lurking around the border at Annapolis Street.

Driving down South Smith Avenue is a study in housing history; from homes built in the 1800′s all the way through the 1980s & even a few in the 1990s.

South Smith Avenue is a study in housing history

After successfully evading the border patrol and surviving not one but three BIG BOX stores, I had what I needed—all safely stored in the Buick’s massive trunk (Yes, a cyber-Buick can hold 8′ lumber with the trunk-lid closed).

We decided to take Robert Street back to Saint Paul as traffic was still light. We crossed out of West Saint Paul and soon approached the viaduct.

I remember this as a kid in the fifties,” I said as we passed through, “Riding in the back seat of Dad’s car, I had never seen anything quite like it. But I think then there were still streetcar tracks.”

“I remember this as a kid in the fifties”

Tight fit, I suppose cars took the lanes up above on either side.”

Maybe, I don’t really know.”

We turned on to Fifth Street in downtown, and soon came to one of my favorite views of the Cathedral towering over downtown. The view was much better before the ramp in the foreground was built [sigh].

I never tire of this view

Ahhh, West Seventh Street and home. But first a stop for a couple of dogs at the local Dairy Queen there on our left.

Back in the Neighborhood

Somehow, we survived our trip into the ‘burbs and South Robert Steet in particular.

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