Monday, July 03, 2006

Traveling to Allen Gardens by bus, bike, and Shank's mare

So perhaps my previous post convinced you to visit Allen Gardens. You know its address is 620 Babcock Drive and you think perhaps you know how to find it. If your thoughts involve an automobile, think again. Construction work in the area makes navigation difficult and parking is usually another obstacle.


The best modes of transportation for reaching Allen Gardens are (1) riding the campus bus, (2) riding your bicycle, and (3) walking.


The route 80 campus bus runs from the Memorial Union to Eagle Heights with stops along the way at many locations, including the UW Hospitals and Clinics and Union South. Get off the bus at the stop near the intersection of Babcock Drive and Observatory Drive, right by Schlicter Hall,


If you're a bicyclist -- and you can manage to navigate through the construction obstacles, you'll find a bicycle rack located just across the street from Allen Gardens.

If you're traveling on foot, the route you take will depend upon your starting point. What follows is the route I took when I visited Allen Gardens on the Sunday before the Fourth of July. Let's call it the chicken to ice cream walking route, because it started by a restaurant that serves up some of the best chicken in town and passed by the Babcock Hall Dairy Store, where, during the month of July, you can buy a Badger Blast or Lumberjack ice cream cone, or opt for an old favorite like strawberry, chocolate, vanilla, or Blue Moon. The store, alas, is closed on Sundays. But if you visit during the week, you can not only enjoy some of the best ice cream in town, you can feel smug about not having to pay the high prices charged to out-of-town fans with deep pockets who can't live without it.



I drove from the far west side of Madison to the intersection of Breese Terrace and Monroe Street, where I was fairly confident I could find a parking place on a quiet Sunday afternoon.

I parked in front of Kipp's Down Home Cookin', formerly known as North American Rotisserie. Same great chicken and sides as before. They just haven't gotten around to changing the sign yet.


Kipp's is just about cater-corner (or kitty-corner, if you prefer) from Nail's Tales, the intriguing and controversial sculpture in front of Camp Randall, at the intersection of Breese Terrace and Regent Street.


I walked along Breese Terrace, heading north toward Old University Avenue. When I reached the end of Breese Terrace (by the First Congregational Church), I crossed the street, turned left, and walked west on Old University Avenue. After I passed the Institute for Enzyme Research, the building shown above (The Church of of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Institute of Religion) was on my left on the opposite side of the street.



The entrance to the walkway that spans Campus Drive was on my right. I headed right. This photograph was taken from the opposite side, looking back.



I suffered just a touch of vertigo when I took this phograph of the traffic headed east on Campus Drive towards the intersection with West Johnson Street.



Once I descended on the other side, I walked past the University Stock Pavillion (a.k.a. the Cow Barn), where, back in the days before computers ruled, students lined up every semester to pick up their registration materials, then ran all over campus to secure the necessary stamps and signatures to enroll in classes; and where Allen Ginsberg and The Fugs performed in the 1960s.

When I reached Linden Drive, I turned right and walked past the Babcock Hall Dairy Store to the intersection of Linden and Babcock Drive. I crossed Linden, and headed toward the Steenbock Library (shown on the left in the photograph above). I had to navigate some construction to arrive there, but once I did, I was almost at my destination.




The red roof peeking out from amongst the trees in the photo of the Steenbock Library sits atop this houseVictorian gothic house inside Allen Gardens.

When my sojourn in Allen Gardens was over, I retraced my steps and headed back to Kipps, Nail's Tales, and my car. Interestingly, a few days later, on the Fourth of July, Madison's most popular blogger (5.1 million visitors and counting as of today), apparently took a walk that began near my starting point and passed by Allen Gardens. But she walked farther than I did, even though her shoes look less sensible than the ones I was wearing two days earlier.

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