Monday, April 04, 2016


I was chatting with Glenn today, over lunch at Skavone's, about I-5 as an institution, part of the larger I-system, a network of freeways (that sometimes charge a toll).

I'd just driven several hundred miles on I-5 over the weekend:  Portland -> Bellevue -> Tulalip Country -> Stillaguamish Country -> back to Portland.

Freeway means "restricted access"; the only way on or off is via interchange.  They're more restrictive than highways in that way, making higher speeds possible.

Where these exchanges get placed can make or break a local economy.  Congressmen wield power over some of these nuts and bolts.

Glenn knows a lot about the impact of freeways on local highway culture.  The case of Route 66 is famous.  The animated feature Cars (Disney) explores this theme, much as Who Killed Roger Rabbit explored the impact of cars on streetcars.

Glenn filled me on about Harvey Girls, the waitresses who staffed Frank Harvey's chain of track-side restaurants and hotels.  Harvey had an exclusive agreement with Santa Fe railroad.  His restaurants revolutionized the food services industry, setting a new and higher standard for what the general public might expect.

Learning this Americana proved a missing puzzle piece for me.  I'm following up tonight, doing more research.