What was your first view of Madison?

What are the things that puzzle, enrage, delight and tickle you as you go about your life in Madison?
john_titor
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What was your first view of Madison?

Postby john_titor » Sat Jan 05, 2008 10:13 am

I took a job here, sight unseen.

Driving up East Wash had me wondering what I had gotten into.

Kenneth Burns
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Re: What was your first view of Madison?

Postby Kenneth Burns » Sat Jan 05, 2008 10:16 am

Dane County Coliseum. I thought it was gorgeous then, and I still do.

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Postby brianmiles » Sat Jan 05, 2008 11:23 am

well, first it was the barrymore theater at night. but i do not count that. i did not see much of the city.

the time i tell everyone about: i came to look at apartments coming into the city on john nolen drive. beautiful.

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Postby jjoyce » Sat Jan 05, 2008 11:26 am

Up Park Street from the beltline. I also wondered what I was getting into. Not only that, but my time at SOAR, the freshmen orientation program, shuttled me between Lakeshore dorms and Union South, which was a disservice.

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Postby Shipley » Sat Jan 05, 2008 11:27 am

Out of school, and complacent in Delaware. I had some friends I'd met at Transformer conventions (yes, I'm that big of a geek) who've lived here all their lives. They said they were renting a house for the summer. I figured I could get out of town for a few months. that was almost 5 years ago.

I came off 30 onto East Washington and thought it looked like a nice city, much smaller but more inviting than Baltimore MD where I'd gone to school. I was kinda lost for the first week or so, I'd just drive everywhere and learned the city... wasn't long before I knew how to get around better than people who lived here forever.

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Postby unabbreviated » Sat Jan 05, 2008 11:28 am

East Washington corridor leading all the way up to the capitol, which is quite a majestic piece of architecture.

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Postby Ducatista » Sat Jan 05, 2008 11:48 am

When I was a kid I'd come to visit my sister, E Wash up to the Capitol, then around the Square. I don't really remember what I thought of E Wash, but I always loved the outer loop: Webster/Dayton/Fairchild/W Wash. So cool, I thought. Once I moved here, it looked different (you know how that goes?), though every once in a while I could conjure up that initial impression. Can't really do it now, with most of the landmarks gone.

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Postby thebookpolice » Sat Jan 05, 2008 11:54 am

I'll always be able to picture all the trees that used to run up the center of E. Wash. Coming from the Fox River Valley to visit, shop, see a friend at UW, that was always the route. "Oh, look, they have a Schlotzky's too!"

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Postby square » Sat Jan 05, 2008 12:48 pm

between my uncle living in shorewood and my oldest brother going to the uw, my parents drove me and from madison pretty often as a child. my first memory of madison is probably the coliseum, but my father always took the 51/cv/packers/gorham way into town from the north and the stoplight at state street is what impressed me the most at first sight, and every other time i came through. coming from a no stop light town and seeing a street that you couldn't even drive on! the sights and sounds and smells of state street were really something to me back then.

i remember coming to madison as a freshman at uw and still being confused and awed at state street. 5 years later, i consider it mostly a waste of time unless i need to find my mom some kind of artsy junk for her birthday.

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Postby aaronetc » Sat Jan 05, 2008 2:09 pm

My family moved to Montello when I was 4, and we'd come down to Woodman's to load up on groceries a couple times a month. So, probably the east side store, which is coincidentally where I shop now.

As an adult, it was coming to a Nine Inch Nails show at the Coliseum when I lived in Green Bay. Much like my first couple weeks living here, navigating through the city seemed totally insane.

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Postby thebookpolice » Sat Jan 05, 2008 3:35 pm

aaronetc wrote:As an adult, it was coming to a Nine Inch Nails show at the Coliseum when I lived in Green Bay. Much like my first couple weeks living here, navigating through the city seemed totally insane.

Self Destruct tour? Maybe I saw you in the parking lot. Do you tell people you saw Marilyn Manson before he was big, too?

Yeah, me neither.

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Postby aaronetc » Sat Jan 05, 2008 3:40 pm

Actually, it was a Manson show now that I think about it, six days after the Columbine shootings -- NIN was the next year on the Fragility tour.

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Postby meowzamusic » Sat Jan 05, 2008 4:36 pm

Two of my friends had moved up here in '95 and that summer I was newly graduated from college and spending a few days in Chicago helping my grandparents out (they were actually helping me by feeding my lazy ass). I drove up on a whim, exited the Beltline at Park Street and found a pay phone somewhere on Dayton which I'm sure does not exist anymore. I called my friend and he and his girlfriend were mere blocks away on N. Henry. We drank sooooo much that weekend because it was about 100 degrees all day and night. The first bar I ever set foot in was Genna's and that was because they had AC. I remember being blown away by the drink prices (I was living and drinking in Iowa) and had to borrow money to pay for my parking ramp fee after the weekend. I remember how cool it was that there were like 6 places having shows O'Cayz, the Chamber, The East End, Club D, The Paramount, etc most of which were RIP when I arrived about a year later.

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Postby Pogoagogo » Sat Jan 05, 2008 4:52 pm

It was 1996, and a friend of mine and I drove in on John Nolen Drive headed to the Barrymore to see Billy Bragg. The next night, we went to O'Cayz to see..I think it was, Fuzzdolly.

Pretty much after that, I never left.

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Postby Marvell » Sat Jan 05, 2008 5:08 pm

1986 - coming back from the Bob Dylan w/Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers / The Grateful Dead weekend of shows at Alpine Valley, driving with my brother in his beat-up old Volvo station wagon that he had made into a convertible after the back got smashed by a flying solar panel in a tornado. We were both (as you can imagine) strung out, but my bro wanted to see Madison; he was thinking about applying to the UW Law School.

So we drove in on the beltline, but instead of coming in John Nolen I think we somehow got off on the Midvale exit - in any event, we somehow ended up coming in on Observatory Drive. So my first image of Madison was the view north across Mendota, and Picnic Point and University Bay.

I thought it was unbelievably beautiful; I couldn't believe there was a city in the Midwest with such a captivating landscape.

We parked and walked up State Street to Steep and Brew. We sat and drank coffee, and commented that, yes, this was a place we could live in.

I didn't move here for another two and a half years; my brother started Law School here the year after I arrived. We've both lived here, more or less, ever since.

So - like so many other things, it's all Jerry's fault.


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