A walk through the heart of Baldwinsville

— I took a walk through town this week while waiting for my car to be fixed. It was notable because I think it’s only the second time in 20 years of living in Baldwinsville that I actually walked through the village.

The first time I walked through it was with my daughter’s elementary class on a field trip. We walked to the post office, the library and the bank, two-by-two, holding hands crossing the street. A child’s first introduction to global studies, in our curriculum, starts with this basic identification of public services and their role in the community.

When the garage said they needed my car for a couple hours, I had no problem thinking of what I could do in the village without wheels. I could go to the library, check my e-mail, and get a video to watch over the weekend. I could get lunch in any number of places and eat it by the river at Mercer Park, or sitting on a bench on the pathway behind the donut shop. I could mail my letters and buy more stamps. I could deposit my paycheck at the bank and pick up some things from the drug store.

I felt slightly sad when I ran out of time. My car was done before my ideas were.

But I enjoyed walking the blocks through the center of town. I’ve grown irritated with the traffic on the main drag, enough so that I drive around the village sometimes to avoid the hassle. It seems like everyone’s in a hurry, rushing and taking chances to get somewhere faster. Cups of coffee and cell phones not withstanding, driving through town seems like a game of “Don’t Flinch” sometimes.

Walking felt totally different. The weather was spectacular, just a bit of chill in the air. I thought the noise from the traffic would be overpowering, but it wasn’t. In mid-afternoon, it was relatively quiet and peaceful. It was Baldwinsville as I remember from my newlywed years, when there was less traffic and congestion. Back then I couldn’t remember which road was Route 48 and which was 370. I knew where I wanted to go, but it took awhile to figure out which road would get me there.

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