Street, interrupted

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The path to the other side of Berkshire Street.

 

I’m fascinated by dead-end streets. I like to see what’s at the end, and what’s beyond. I was thinking of focusing this blog on the ends of dead-end streets — but then that started seeming kind of limited.

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The real end of Berkshire Street.

The other day I was walking on Berkshire Street, near Presumpscot Street in East Deering. I came to a cute little path leading into some woods, and at first I thought that was it for Berkshire Street. But then I saw that it was a very short path and where it came out was also Berkshire Street. Just a cozy little wooded pathway inserted into a typical neighborhood street! I love that.

I wonder how that came about? How come no one ever yanked out the trees and widened and paved over the path? I wish I knew. I’d like to think that it’s because the people who live on the street want it that way.  Not everybody wants to live in a cookie-cutter neighborhood.

A ways down, Berkshire Street does come to a dead end. There’s a house with a big yard at the end, its privacy protected by a wall of sumacs that almost have a tropical flair.

 

 

“On the other side (it didn’t say nothing)….”

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The sign says “Residents and Guests only.”
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This is the path that goes into the forbidden woods.
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A scene from behind the Rainbow Mall.
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I wonder if there was a house here at some point — must have been, I guess, judging by the pillars left standing.

For years I’ve wondered where the two roads on either side of the old Rainbow Mall (now medical facilities and other offices — I think) went. But I never bothered to look. Today, trying to get myself moving, I randomly pointed to a spot on the map, and that’s where I walked. Rainbow Mall Road, a right turn onto Ledgewood Drive, and then down Pheasant Hill Drive to the mall.

I thought at first it wasn’t as interesting as I’d hoped — though I guess, in a different way, it was. What I saw was an expensive-looking neighborhood, with big houses and a couple of condo developments. At the end of Ledgewood Drive, there was an alluring pathway into the woods, but then I saw the sign: “Residents and Guests only.”

It brought to mind a verse of “This Land Is Your Land” that usually isn’t sung, one of the lesser-known verses that give the song a whole different tone than most people think.

“As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said ‘No Trespassing.’
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.”

© Copyright 1956 (renewed), 1958 (renewed), 1970 and 1972 by Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc. & TRO-Ludlow Music, Inc. (BMI)

OK, here goes

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The end of my street

I’m always trying to motivate myself to exercise — I’m not a person who just naturally loves it. I do enjoy walking, and over the past few years I’ve set goals for myself to get myself out there. Two years ago I set the goal of walking 16 Portland Trails sites. I walked and took pictures, and became enchanted with the woods, as I had when I was a kid. I posted my photos on Facebook, and that was part of the fun. I realized the vastness of the world that exists between and behind the streets of Portland — much of which is tucked away out of sight when you’re driving around doing the stuff of daily life . Now my curiosity is taking me to the streets, as well as the woods, to record the weird, beautiful, and fascinating sights there.

Someone suggested I start a blog, to help bolster my commitment to regular activity and to nurture my need for esthetic and spiritual fulfillment. The idea intrigued me, even though I think it could be a lot like talking to myself. So here I am. We’ll see what happens! I’m kind of baffled at the moment about how to get this set up.

“Build therefore your own world.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature