Downtown is as much an experience as it is a place.
You haven’t lived until you’ve walked seven blocks to work, face numbed by a minus-5 wind chill whipping through the skyscrapers. Or sprinted to beat a train that stands between you and the parking lot.
The stimuli come at you from all sides.
The stench of a tavern. The aroma of hot dogs from a wiener shop or hamburgers from a greasy spoon.
Pedestrians wait for the beep of the Walk sign. Employees sunbathe while reading a book during a cigarette break. Metal clinks as the penniless check for loose change in parking meters.
Those just in from the Greyhound station drag suitcases on rollers. Others carry the baggage they’ve been unable to shed their whole life.
Guitarists, instrument cases open, play for money. Men sleep beneath blankets on benches. Others simply stand on corners, drinking from brown paper bags, mumbling under their breath.
It is sad. It is downtown.