September 11, 2004

September Saturday.

I had Chris drop me off near the Capitol Square this morning because I wanted to look at a model condominium. Sometimes I think of selling my big house in University Heights and moving to a pristine apartment downtown with a glorious view. There is a new project on the Square with units that look straight onto the Capitol building and toward Lake Mendota and Lake Monona on opposite sides of the isthmus. On the way to check out the model unit, I pass through the Farmers' Market. There are sunflowers:



Radishes:



And politics:




The view from the condo is spectacular. What a project it would be to buy the raw space, work with the architect and the contractor to finish the interior, and accomplish the complicated financial transaction that would include paying for all of that and selling the house that I've lived in for nearly twenty years. Daunting but exciting. I'll probably wait a couple years, and maybe buy one of the already-finished units when someone resells. I like the idea of living on the Square, though, and having my walk to work be a walk down the length of State Street, with its shops and caf├ęs and restaurants and lively street life.

I walk towards State Street and stop to take a picture of a merchant's stall that is hung with mobiles made of copper tubing twisted into a spiral with a handblown colored-glass ball set inside the spiral. A woman working in the stall points at me and then a man turns around and starts shaking his head and waving his outstretched arms in the international gesture for "no, no, it is forbidden" as he walks over toward me. I say "I'm sorry," and he makes a move as if he wants to take my camera. He says, "This is my art. You're stealing my art." I say, "I'm not stealing your art. I'm sorry. I'll delete the picture." He says, "I'm trying to make money and you're stealing." I say, "That's not very friendly," then, walking away, I wish I'd said something wittier. This selection of ripostes runs through my head:

Get over yourself! You bent copper tubing into a spiral!

Why would anyone buy new age junk from a man with such bad energy?

Okay, then I won't use my blog to make your mobiles seem to be part of the charm of Madison, Wisconsin, I'll use my blog to make you look like a jackass.

I proceed to walk down State Street. There's a panhandler who tries to show passersby his driver's license and makes the pitch: "I was born on 9-1-1!" There's a nice post-game crowd on the street. Lots of red to celebrate the Badgers:



I can never tell from looking at the people whether we won. I want to ask someone, but I don't. I stop at Fair Trade Coffeehouse for a latte and some bread and cheese. I run into Tonya and I tell her about the condominium model unit and the bad mobile man. We talk about a colleague who is thinking of starting a blog and about naming and renaming blogs, which leads to a discussion of Gene Wilder. She needs to work and I head out to continue in my walk toward home. [ADDED: And Tonya did, later today, rename her blog!] I take the Lake Mendota route and see lots of people having a great time on the swimming pier:



And learning to kayak:



I take the lake path. Some members of the marching band are also taking the path:



I leave the path and walk toward home, taking a stop in Allen Centennial Garden:



I sit down on a quiet bench and do some reading:



Then I walk the rest of the way home, past late after-game tailgating parties. It's very hot now and I'm glad to get home and take a bath. I check the web and see the Badgers won. How is Cliff doing today at the Bell Canadian Open? Ah, quite well! He's in second place! Now, the third round has concluded, and my nephew Cliff Kresge is tied for the second spot with Vijay Singh and Jesper Parnevik. Mike Weir at ten under is three strokes ahead. Excellent!

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