Cooling off in Steamtown

One of the unknowns with driving is road conditions: construction issues (frequent and lengthy in PA), other drivers, random blockades–any of these can extend one’s journey, so in my travels, I try to add extra time in the case of one or more of these occurs. And so it was that yesterday, on the way home from upstate NY, I hit a 2-mile jam on 81. Thankfully, the exit just ahead of me (and not 3 blocks behind me) was open, and I wheeled off on the Scranton Parkway.

Scranton?

The gear is here

The signs, once I got on this nearly empty 4-lane, were certainly intriguing: Steamtown Mall seemed like the dominant attraction. So I went into town–The Electric City, as more signs and enormous wall graffiti proclaimed it. Heavy traffic on the freeway gave way to nearly nothing inside the city limits; had I missed something? Was Scranton closed?

But no, just resting, apparently. Once downtown–a mile or two off the road–there were tall stone buildings, office parks and a cinema, and the Steamtown Mall. It seemed as good a place as any, so I parked and ambled inside. Typical mall, except for the celebrity wallpaper, advertising those who would be visiting the Mall (visiting a Mall?). Among the smiling faces, Rainn Wilson’s was the most prominent.

Starbucks had a shop in one corner, and wi-fi, so I could connect with the outside world, to see what traffic was doing, to see if certain email had been sent. An hour later I was back on the highway, passing the semi that had broken down and stopped traffic for miles a little while before. No accident this time, just an inconvenience–except that had it not occurred, I’d have missed a trip to Scranton.

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