Friday, July 22, 2005

I love Madison, really I do…

…it’s just that it’s small. I figured out that in the fall, it will take me something like ten minutes to walk over from my apartment to the Law School, and I will have basically passed the edges of the entire downtown area. I may be a fast walker* but still – not only is the area to be covered not vast, it offers few distractions. And I think I figured out that I can walk the entire distance, cross at legitimate intersections and pass no more than one or two stop lights. That tells you something.

So it’s small. I read with some amusement that Middleton (Madison’s suburb really) was on Money Magazine's list of top ten even smaller towns in America this year. There you could cross the entire downtown in three minutes and you will have passed … not much of anything.

Middleton is where you move to if you want to escape Madison’s urban tempo. You know, because it is so fast-paced in downtown Madison.

So today I got an email message from one of my daughters (both are spending the summer in DC) asking me to select a place for dinner there tonight (I am going for a quick, very spontaneously arranged visit). She submitted four choices. All in one neighborhood. All having menus that leap out at me in their originality. All reasonably priced. Damn! Can’t we go to all four?

I am starved for a neighborhood where people are eating dinner until 2 a.m. on hot summer nights. Places from which I get another note telling me this: we are planning out your day – which of these things would you like to do? – and then follows a list of some ten categories of choices.

I know, I know, Mr. B is grumbling at my side, letting me know that no way would he feel comfortable whizzing around DC’s traffic (as if he was such a safe ride in slower-paced Madison!). And the market, and the lakes, and the green spaces, I know I know. I love my little town, I do I do. Sort of.

But this evening I hit the big stuff. More to follow. From D.C.

* trained to pick up the pace by Madison’s speed demon herself, Ms. kef