Brian Matuszak column: Brian fights the traffic to find summer funSo our family made its annual June trek to the Park Point Art Fair, and while Sue, Kaylee, and I certainly enjoyed the usual collection of copper cat plant holders and fuzzy — uh, I mean, artistic, photographs of loons, we noticed that the traffic situation seemed to be worse than it’s ever been.
By: Brian Matuszak, For the Budgeteer News
So our family made its annual June trek to the Park Point Art Fair, and while Sue, Kaylee, and I certainly enjoyed the usual collection of copper cat plant holders and fuzzy — uh, I mean, artistic, photographs of loons, we noticed that the traffic situation seemed to be worse than it’s ever been.
Everyone knows that summer driving in Canal Park is a risky proposition. If you’re not prepared with a tank full of gas and a snack bag full of beef jerky and Red Bull, you could end up stranded in front of the William Irvin, gnawing on your left foot.
But this year, Railroad Street seemed to be more congested than Keith Richards’ lungs. I mean, what evil genius believed it was a good idea to stick an art fair at the end a tiny spit of dirt on Lake Superior while tourists are sprawled all over the area like a slowly spreading sweat stain? Plus, the lift bridge now goes up every half hour to let boats (and hope) slowly slip out into the frigid water, causing things to back up quicker than Kenny G’s lower colon.
I blame John Fedo. (Not that I think he had anything to do with it, but with so many felony counts against him, the odds are good.) Don’t get me wrong: I’m all for art and I adore fairs, but can’t we hold this event in the winter when the only thing clogging up Canal Park arteries is Grandma’s chicken tetrazzini?
I mean, we slogged through traffic for a longer period of time last weekend than it took to walk through the art fair once we got there. And it was the worse kind of snarl: it kept moving. Sure, it was in spits and spurts, but we never sat completely still for very long. We had more false starts than the Vikings offensive line, and we were just as slow and plodding.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Canal Park Summer Traffic Dance, by the way, here’s how it works: Ease forward half a car length, then stop. Slide forward two car lengths, stop. Wait. Sweat. Crawl up an inch, STOP! Swear. Sweat. Swear. Repeat. A fun game to help pass the time is to count how many times the words “no” and “parking” appear. (The answer is just short of a zillion.)
I know it sounds like we didn’t have a good time, but we actually did. The weather was beautiful, everyone had shirts on that should have had shirts on, and most of the artwork on display was creative and cool. It’s just too bad that the journey was frustrating. But I suppose that’s a small price to pay for summer in Duluth.
The best two weeks of the year.
Brian Matuszak is the co-founder of Renegade Comedy Theatre, founder of Rubber Chicken Theater, and just began his sixth decade of existence this week. For those of you in Wisconsin, that means he turned 50.