This just can't be. I mean, bridges don't collapse. Cars don't plunge into rivers. These things just don't happen. Maybe on TV. Far away. Not here.
Over and over tonight I've heard it said that 100,000 cars crossed that bridge on an average day. You probably crossed it over and over yourself, probably very recently, possibly on the way to or from a game. I certainly have. And I almost crossed it tonight at the very wrong time.
My receipt from Target at the Quarry is stamped 5:54 PM. 35W south is my route home from there, but the entrance ramp was closed due to construction. So I headed toward the East Hennepin ramp.
When I got there, just before 6:00 PM, I could see that the traffic was like a painting, and I realized I was later than planned in heading toward home. I did the mental calculation: a mile and a half to the Hiawatha exit in construction would take about 5 to 10 minutes. The alternate route, city streets to the 10th Avenue bridge, would take about the same amount of time.
The car in front of me headed down the freeway ramp and then stopped. I was prepared to follow it right into stop-n-go purgatory, but in a moment of impatience I made the snap decision to keep moving and opt for the city streets. There was no other reason -- no premonition or ominous feeling or anything. I was simply tired of sitting in traffic.
I figure that I crossed the 10th Avenue bridge a minute or two before the collapse. You can probably see what else I've figured out. And after putting the pieces together, I watched the first couple of hours of coverage through the blinders of shock.
Earlier today, I expended a great deal of effort getting Noah ready for tomorrow. We talked about the train station and the train, the Metrodome and the baseball game, and all the players. ("Who's in the dugout?" "Gardy!") We talked about baseball and the new ballpark all day. We got to the point where he could almost recite back to me the whole schedule we had planned for tomorrow.
I had heard there was grass on the asphalt (thanks, Tube), so I detoured downtown to get some pictures before heading toward the Quarry and my errands.
Turns out there were also tents, and bleachers, and a stage. It's a beautiful sight.
But the Twins did the right thing in postponing tomorrow's events. There was no other choice. And while I'm disappointed that we won't get to have our baseball day tomorrow, tonight I'm just deeply thankful that my car is not in the river, and that Noah and his mom and I will have another tomorrow together.
Without getting too melodramatic, let's admit that we make hundreds of choices every day which could alter our lives in ways we cannot anticipate. Sure we make plans, but in the end we get what we get. We come to a fork in the road and we take it.
We assume that the bridge won't collapse. We assume that our car won't plunge into the river. We assume we will get to use those tickets. We assume we'll be home for dinner in a few minutes.
And there it is.
My heart goes out to all those touched by this Big Unimaginable. There will be a time for our ballpark celebration. Now is a time to grieve and heal.
"You talk about the magic, the aura, but what really makes a stadium is the fans. Concrete doesn't talk back to you. Chairs don't talk back to you. It's the people who are there, day in, day out, that makes the place magic."
– Bernie Williams
Explore the Site
Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3003 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
The first passengers are about to arrive, but the switch is set for the wrong track (those guys walked all the way out to correct it)
You write the caption...
Thome steps in.
The model still shows the Batters Eye Club, which is no longer part of the design.
Here's an idea of what these Loge Boxes are all about. That guy is a waiter with no fans to serve. They seemed to have one server for about every four boxes.
These openings will facilitate access to the catwalks which run throughout the canopy.
What can you see from up there? Some say not much.
I was surprised at how close those upper deck seats seem. From the plaza, you feel like you can reach out and touch them. It really adds to the impression of overall compactness.
The equivalent spot on the model.
A last look on the way out.
A view from up (and in) the street.
The glass area seen here is one of the warm-up areas.
Not sure what those supports are for -- probably stadia.
Seville's certainly will benefit from 81 games a year played about a block away! (When I walked by on this day, the place looked deserted, but I stand corrected!)
Name that band. Please. (Mick Sterling)
Emergency access viewed in context
Some brick work out in the centerfield pavilion.
OK, it doesn't really look like that at all...
This is the Seventh Street circulation ramp. Note that the floor is covered with plywood to protect it during construction. Not all construction firms are as careful with this type of protection as Mortenson.
This is the area above the pro shop, with some new support structure
September 23, 2007
Up inside the circulation building. (That's the LRT platform visible through the windows.)
Notice the temporary railing extensions
A cold afternoon in 323, but we had our trusty Twins blanket -- made by my mom when Noah was born.
That's Fifth Street (and a tattooed arm) in the foreground.
Touring the Rapid Park site (L-R: Commissioners Wade, Vekich, Sykora, Cramer, and tour guide Chuck Ballentine, source: RP)
From the best seat in the house (Section 8, Row A), the right field corner is blocked. (No one may care. Fine with me. People should know.)