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OT Cardinal Points (was Re: Clockwise without clocks)

From:Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>
Date:Saturday, April 2, 2005, 18:39
Muke Tever wrote:
> If you live in an area with landmarks it is easy. For example, people > who live in Denver, CO, you [generally] learn quickly that the Rocky > Mountains, visible pretty much all over town, are to the west, which for > the most part makes orienting oneself easy, even when the [fairly > regular] street grid fails one. [There are people who do not acquire this > skill; it makes giving directions to them rather difficult; when > giving directions with left and right, you have to take into account > things like what direction they're coming from, etc.] > > Where I lived before, in TN, I never could get the hang of the > cardinal directions. >
Aside from the town I grew up in (grid) and NYC (Manhattan mostly grid, Brooklyn...well...) and E.Coast Florida, in other places I've lived I've never acquired a sense of NSEW. I won't even mention Boston... Ann Arbor Mich. (mostly grid, but with major streets that ran diagonally) was particularly perverse*, as is present Saugatuck Mich. (tiny, mostly a grid, all named streets; the Lake is always West, at least, even though you can't see it from the main part of town). I could give direction in AA, and in Saugatuck, but only in terms of Left/Right, Up/down such and such a street...If I see a map of a new city, I orient myself, but not really in terms of L/R. Very odd. An old friend of mine wrote a lovely poem about his childhood in Little Rock Ark., called "Cardinal Points"... perhaps I'll put it up on the website temporarily (at some point...) =========================== *As an example: Main St. ran N/S; the next NS street on the E was 4th Ave., then 5th Ave., (or vice-versa, I don't recall; these only ran a few blocks in the downtown area), then Division st. and more named NS streets; immediately parallel to the W was...1st Ave., then Ashley St., then the RR tracks; over the tracks there was a series of short numbered NS _streets_ 1st thru 7th only, then named streets. Numbered things were the exception; also, few streets actually crossed the NS/EW dividing-line streets (so didn't have to be designated "N X st ~S X st."), or if they did, they often changed names..... Then there was the river (N of downtown)-- across it was an area like lower Manhattan, a maze (it even had Broadway, Wall St. and Maiden Lane)... But no complaints-- it was a wonderful place to live :-))


Joseph Bridwell <zhosh@...>
Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>OT Cardinal Points (now a poem) (was Re: Clockwise without clocks)