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I was trying to find a particular shop in my old neighborhood, which I did by driving around Providence using Google Street View.

Do you ever do this? It’s a lot of fun. (It’s even more fun in Google Earth VR, but I didn’t bother).

So I get to this bridge near my house and it’s blocked at both ends by concrete barrier. From the look of it here – all grown up – it’s been there a while. (In point of fact, it was put up in 2017 and this shot was taken in 2019. I got that from date stamps on the images).

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today reopened the Hawkins Street Bridge in Providence, which was completely replaced. The bridge had been closed since October 2017 after the results of an inspection found that the bridge was so badly deteriorated it could not remain open to traffic.

Eep! I drove over that thing at least twice a day on my daily commute. I hate to think the route I would’ve had to take with it closed – though I suppose it would’ve been preferable to driving over a collapsing bridge. That’s a highway below.

Never found the shop I was looking for, but the old neighborhood is looking sad. The really excellent Italian deli appears to be a generic food mart now and next to it is a mosque that looks like a gymnasium

Truly, you can’t go home again.


Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: January 4, 2023, 10:59 pm

Yes, I vowed never to drive by the house I grew up in after my parents moved to Florida and some trailer trash person bought it.

So instead I drove by on Google. It was only a little less painful until the latest pics showed a contractor had bought it and was rebuilding it.

Comment from Armybrat
Time: January 4, 2023, 11:40 pm

Welcome to the world of Armybrat. Most of the places I grew up in no longer exist. All my life, people have asked me where I’m from. Can’t tell them or show them.
My parents were surprised to find out that their children gave this answer. They grew up with grandparents and cousins galore. My daddy once said “well, you’re from where I am from.” Never lived there and only visited once. Nope.

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: January 5, 2023, 4:12 am

“Where are you from?”
That reminds me of a story. I was living in an 18-wheeler, always moving. I had a mailbox in New Mexico. I also had a motor home for when I wasn’t living in the truck. I took some time off, went to Canada, and the nice lady on the Canadian side of the border noticed the RV Dealership had a front license plate that said, “Albuquerque,’ and she asked me ‘Where are you from?’ That question was so unexpected that I was speechless, couldn’t answer. The nice lady said, “Just park over there and we’ll take a look.”

They searched my motor home, thoroughly, while I watched. That was when I noticed the US border was only about 50 yards away and it was the longest 50 yards I had ever seen.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: January 5, 2023, 6:16 am

Maryland, Florida, Connecticut (three places), California, Virginia, Argentina, back to Virginia and 8th grade and high school. Then Georgia, Colorado, Korea, Washington D.C. (three places), Maryland again (four), North Carolina (two), California again (two), and now finally Florida (two) for keeps. Wheeee!

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: January 5, 2023, 2:11 pm

I love Google street view. Mostly I use it to preview where I’m going. When I lived in San Antonio, I used it all the time. I’m not an intrepid driver, so this keeps me from missing my turns and getting lost 🙂

As a genealogist, I use it to locate places where my relatives have lived. My mother was three (for example) when her family moved to San Francisco in 1930, and every place they lived is still standing. I was able to locate these homes using census records and the San Francisco city directories which were published every year.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 5, 2023, 7:10 pm

Tennessee: Johnson City, Chattanooga, Nashville, Memphis (briefly), Alexandria. Rhode Island: Providence, Pawtucket (where the limericks come from), Providence. Britain: London (kind of), Sussex.

After some search, I found the family’s hunting cabin and my mother’s farm, both very remote. But the hardest to find was our suburban Nashville home, because it had been semi-rural then and it’s urban now.

Comment from Syracuse1989
Time: January 5, 2023, 7:48 pm

I once did this trip down memory lane. I looked for the homes I remembered visiting as a child all around the Pittsburg, PA area (grandparents, great aunts, etc.). For the most part, it was demoralizing. What were once working-class neighborhoods of steelworkers had become dilapidated slums. Many houses were gone completely – either burned down or torn down. Sometimes a trip down memory lane is not a good thing!

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: January 5, 2023, 8:53 pm

Heck, I’d be happy if they updated the road view of our East Texas place. It was fields and some big old trees, last time they went up that road in 2008. It ain’t now.

Things like weeds and pines grow like weeds, and pines, in East Texas.

Here’s what part of it used to look like. Google Map coords.
33.211236, -94.641047

Now a flame thrower crew and another with axes and machetes would be very handy.

Comment from Armybrat
Time: January 6, 2023, 12:59 am

@syracuse1989…my daddy is from Pittsburgh, my mama from Charleroi. One of my maternal cousins is the poster child for that area. Went to work in the mills right out of high school, married his high school sweetheart. Bought his house at 20, had 2 kids by 22. Laid off from the mills by 28, divorced by 30, hasn’t worked a day since he was 30. His house was in a once solid blue collar area. Looks like a war zone these days.
We went back to Pittsburgh this last Feb for my paternal uncle’s funeral. What was once a fairly upscale area is clearly on the down hill path.

Comment from Veeshir
Time: January 6, 2023, 3:32 am

My town was an IBM town in upstate NY, full of Italian and German immigrants with lots of Irish from the 1800s.
IBM was taxed out of NY and that town is a sancuary city now.
I’m afraid of viewing it.

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