Helaine’s away. I’m remembering why I didn’t really like bachelor life. I actually dressed this evening to go out and pick up some Chinese food. To get there I drove down our hill into the Mill River Valley¹ toward Sleeping Giant Mountain.
I live in a town just north of New Haven. This is the countrified part of town. Our house features well water, oil heat and a septic system. I couldn’t give you directions to the nearest sidewalk.
To get from my place to the main drag I take Todd Street. As I drove Todd tonight I realized there would never be another street like it!
Two lanes wide with no shoulders or sidewalks Todd Street climbs a serpentine path up Mount Carmel. It seems totally illogical today. Sometime over the last 250 years this squiggly route must have made sense.
During the winter it’s often impassable to two wheel drive vehicles and challenging for four wheel drive. An underground stream migrates upward every winter creating a small but predictable ice patch.
I am willing to take the minus of this little road to get its plusses. Todd Street fully canopied by trees and running over a few brooks helps define the area.
Today Todd Street would never get approved. Too narrow. Too curvy. Too dangerous.
I understand why, but I’m not sure we’re the better for it.
¹ – I’ve never heard anyone call it the Mill River Valley, but it is.
After I posted this entry I received this follow-up on Facebook from Clark Hurlburt
You are most likely aware that Shepard Ave. was orginally known as the “Shunpike”, originaly built by farmers moving animals and produce from northern communities to market in New Haven. The purpose of the Shunpike was to avoid the toll house in Mt. Carmel south of what is now Mt. Carmel Ave. located at the cut in the granite outcrop called “The Steps”. In those days Todd Street was the last east-west road you could take to get to the Shunpike and avoid the toll. Might explain the difficult route.