Syracuse's Racist Highway
And the unexpected benefits of listening to local talk radio.
One of the small things I noticed when I moved to California was how oftenn people here talk about the highway. The wide-open roads of California are so awe-inspiring that they merit a definite article whenever they are referred to by locals. “Take the 101 south.” “Avoid the 1 on Thursday mornings, it’s a mess.” And Waze have mercy on your soul if a native Californian finds out you took an inefficient route to get somewhere.
I even learned the difference between a highway and a freeway1 since moving, knowledge that should help me immensely if I ever get a callback from ABC’s newest spin-off, Who Wants to be a Civil Engineer?
Maybe it was a consequence of growing up in Central New York, where for seven months of the year it’s snowing so hard your mother won’t let you outside to drive, but before moving out west I never gave much thought to our nation’s highways. A lot of my friends in middle school played on a soccer team named after 481, a local section of interstate.
I was always annoye…