19.4.10

Sidewalk Mailbox #2


Howdy Bill,

So... I found $20 on the sidewalk on friday night downtown. Have you ever written anything about the sidewalks as 'finders keepers" or as some kind of repository, where some people loose things and others find them? Just a thought, similar but different from people who put things to give away on their sidewalks which are free, since that is obviously intentional vs. losing something..

Sincerely,
Finders Keepers


Dear Finders:

Yes, I love to find things on the sidewalk. Well, not always.

Once I found $100 while walking down Lyndale Avenue at night. Five crisp twenties. I picked it up, looked around, and seeing no one, shoved it quickly into my pocket and went home.

Another time I found an older iPod in a pink iPod case on the sidewalk over by Cedar behind Midwest Mountaineering. I posted an ad on Craigslist, with a photo, saying that whoever could name two songs on it could have it for free. Nobody responded, and I gave it to a friend of mine. (I don't think he ever used it.)

And one time I stepped in some dog poo.

Yrs,
Bill



Dear Bill:

Have you done any postings on heated sidewalks? I was going through Saint Paul recently and experienced a heated sidewalk for the first time (or at least the first time I even noticed). Near Market and Kellog, the sidewalk is heated by District Energy and there are some plagues describing the sidewalk. Hurray for heated sidewalks!

Sincerely,
Hotfoot McGillicutty


Dear Hotfoot:

No, I was not aware that there was a heated sidewalk in downtown Saint Paul. I guess I'm impressed at the engineering feat. I wonder, though, how they heat it. Do they heat it like the back window of your car, with little electric strips? Or, is there a subterranean steam tunnel like on University campuses?

Either way it seems like a waste of money! I'm kind of a Luddite.

Shovels and rakes? Yes. Good exercise!
Snowblowers and leafblowers? Loud and lazy! Sure signs of the apocalypse!

What's that you say? You don't like shoveling your sidewalks? You live on a corner lot? Your yard is the size of a small golf course?

Well, my ideal world would solve the unemployment crisis with sidewalk-focused makework projects, kind of like the old New Deal WPA, except everyone would be paid to be doormen, street sweepers, sidewalk shovelers, leaf rakers, gas pump attendants*, elevator operators. And they will all wear symbolic hats.

Yrs,
Bill


* Thank you, New Jersey.

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