The good news: this is not a post about bad golfers like myself who routinely score quadruple bogeys on any particular hole (i.e. take 4 more strokes than par).
However, it sort of is, as three of the “Bogeys” are related to golf. Let me explain: five pictures will be worth a total of the order of a thousand words.
This picture shows a map of downtown and west Evanston, and has four circles. The circle “1” is at Maple and Church Streets. The circle “2” encompasses Benson Avenue, Emerson Street, Elgin Road, and Maple Avenue. The circle “3” encompasses Emerson Street, Ridge Avenue, and Green Bay Road. The circle “4” encompasses East Prairie Road/McDaniel Avenue, Golf Road/Emerson Street, and McCormick Boulevard. I’ll go counterclockwise according to these holes.
The first hole is Maple and Church. Maple Avenue is discontinuous at Church Street (OOOOHHHH… gives me an idea for a homework problem for my Calculus I class… muahahaha!) When going northbound on Maple from Davis Street, you have to turn left into the far lane: notice the arrows to the left of the bus.
Seems easy, right? Well, until you notice those two lovely signs that have a RED CIRCLE SLASH on top of a two-tiered right-pointing arrow! Yes! The continuation of Maple Avenue is reachable only from the lane that is BLOCKED OFF by the cones! Granted, I will openly admit that I cheated those cones when I lived in Evanston and transported myself on two wheels. So instead, follow this easy-peasy recipe:
Take your forced lane and go eastbound until you reach Benson. Go northbound until you hit Clark. Go westbound to Maple. Voila! The tortuosity of it all!
On the other hand, if trying to continue southbound on Maple Avenue at Church Street, you have the wonderful pleasure of Church Street being ONE WAY to the EAST! You have to go eastbound on Church, southbound on Benson, westbound on Davis (don’t try to go East—that’s a one way ticket to a head-on crash that you will be solely liable for), and finally continue on Maple in whichever direction you want. Just don’t try to easily get back to the movie theatre on four wheels!
How many strokes did you take on Hole One? If you’re playing match play, remember that it’s only one hole and you’re only down one! So now, your mission, should you choose to accept it: Hole number two!
It’s a several-intersection mishmash right next to Engelhart Hall, where I lived for six years at Northwestern! When I said in an earlier paragraph “The circle “2” encompasses Benson Avenue, Emerson Street, Elgin Road, and Maple Avenue,” I forgot another street: University Avenue!
Yes, this log jam of streets, with turns in every which way, stop signs non-strategically placed, an always-on right turn signal at Emerson/Elgin, nonsensical lights on either side of the viaduct, and the “shortcut” at University to avoid the lights insanity. Getting around here sanely? GODSPEED. The good news: this area appears to be fairly navigable since there’s no worry with the one-ways of downtown.
OK, so now we’re onto Hole Three. And you better be careful here, as they’ve “improved” this hole recently. You’ll love it!
As you can see in this picture, we are at Green Bay Road, Emerson Street, and Ridge Avenue. The appearance of Hecky’s is somewhat appropriate here, because we should be thinking: WHAT THE HECK WERE THE TRAFFIC ENGINEERS THINKING!?!
In this stretch, in addition to Green Bay, Emerson, and Ridge, we also have Asbury which intersects with both Emerson and Green Bay in a short period, and there are no fewer than five sets of stoplights in this monstrosity of a one-Chicago-block radius. The picture shown here is from the fall of 2016, when the intersection was being “repaired” by repainting and rerouting the continuation of Green Bay Road as Ridge Avenue.
Well, I’m pretty sure the engineering division just Karlized the sequence of intersections! They included some No-Left-Turn signs, which did make sense to avoid hairpins from eastbound Emerson to northbound Green Bay, but the painting of the lanes made little sense: to go westbound from Emerson, you have to swerve to the left to avoid getting into a right-turn only lane, and then there are markings crossing each other in a Death Spiral.
To make matters worse, the northbound bifurcation of Ridge into Ridge and Green Bay now has a light which is poorly timed with the north/west-bound light at Green Bay and Emerson. You get a turn signal allowing you to get on Green Bay, but then you’re often stuck in the little leg waiting for ANOTHER light cycle to turn west onto Emerson, and even after that, you’re bound to get stuck at Emerson and Asbury, cursing while that light is interminably red. Oh, but wait, you’ve still got one more mess before getting out of Evanston!
This final picture looks to the east from the intersection of different roads in different localities. McCormick Boulevard separates Skokie from Evanston. To the west, Emerson Street is rechristened as Golf Road. Yep, the names show that Evanston is shooting bogeys left and right. For that matter, the Evanston Golf Club isn’t even in Evanston—it’s in Skokie!
The Evanston street of McDaniel gets renamed to East Prairie Road once you get south of Golf Road, and then you’re in Skokie.
And just like before, we have nonsense of traffic lights. The cycles are poorly timed. It is very common to be stuck at a red light going eastbound on Golf, once you get to McDaniel/East Prairie. Wait it out while the green light at McCormick taunts you. Then, the McPrairie light turns green, the McCormick light turns red, and your McBlood will boil for having to stop twice.
The saving grace: all turn lanes in this vicinity are equipped with turn arrows so that you don’t have one car turning per cycle. Nevertheless, it’s still plenty to get your goat and get you screaming out of whichever suburb you happen to be in!
Happy driving! But please remember that you’ll just hook your drive out of bounds, take a stroke penalty, and then hit your next ball into the water hazard and take another stroke penalty.
ארץ ישראל: ו’ ימים (Israel: 6 days)
Lincoln: 18 days
(Dirty?) Thirty: 35 days
אתמול היה שמונה וארבעים יום–שהיו שישה שבועות ושישה ימים לעומר
Today is the twenty-ninth day of the sixth round of M.A.P.L.E.: four weeks and one day.