Car Window This AM

Jeremy Sloan

I wasn't kidding about the potholes. This one's about 4" deep, and if you look closely, you can see the bricks underneath the pavement. In some of the really bad ones, the bricks get dislodged, too.

Car Window This AM
I imagine that, outside of Pennsylvania, most people know of Erie as a four letter word for one of the Great Lakes, courtesy of a thousand crossword puzzles. Within Pennsylvania, Erie is known for its snow. Sure, the Appalachians get a good bit, too, but it's those lake effect storms that really dump it. It's not that uncommon to go to bed with the sidewalks and streets shoveled, and wake to find them covered in a foot or more of fresh snow.

Erie is in decline. This is no secret.

Just behind the treeline in the background sits the GE locomotive plant, the largest employer in the region. I live close enough that, at night, I can hear the noise from the plants and the engines on the test track that runs through our neighborhood. It's one of the few places left where a kid out of high school can get a job that will eventually support a family. But there aren't a whole lot of those jobs left, and it takes a long time to build up enough seniority to be insulated from layoffs.

In the foreground are some of the many potholes on East Lake Road. These will easily pop a tire, throw off your alignment or, if you're not careful, send you swerving into another vehicle. I blew out a tire a few weeks ago, after getting boxed into my lane, unable to cut over or slow down.

Parking Meters 2
It's usually not too difficult to find parking. Reaching the meter can be a challenge, though.

Parking Meters
After a few months of freezes and thaws and plow jobs, these ice walls tend to grow up around the city streets. They're eventually almost as hard as solid ice, and take forever to melt.

When they do melt, all kinds of detritus is released. Soda cans, empty cigarette packs, broken eyeglasses, car keys -- you name it. I once found a $50 bill sticking out of a snowbank near a downtown convenience store.