What's it like in Kidland?
When I was about 7 or 8, I was riding in the back of a pickup truck with my friend from down the street, when we passed the tunnel pictured above. My friend, who was a little younger than me, maybe 6, went absolutely berserk. "It's Kidland!" he screeched. "Kidland!" I was dumbfounded.
"Don't you know about Kidland?" he asked. I said I didn't. Then he proceeded to tell me about the wonderful, miraculous land that existed on the other end of this tunnel. It was a place where kids ran wild and could do whatever they wanted, sort of like Pleasure Island in Pinocchio. Some mischievous adult had obviously fed him this line of BS, and he had swallowed it whole. I asked him if he had ever been to Kidland, and he got a look on his face, like he was a devout Christian and I was asking if he had ever gone to Heaven.
So anyway, since it was a beautiful spring day today, I decided to hop on my Trek 820 and take a little trip to Kidland. Here's what I found.
The tunnel leads to this scrubby, matted-down area beneath DM&IR Dock No. 6, which is no longer in use. This is one of those places of power, perversion and privacy, like the railroad trestle I wrote about a few weeks ago on PDD. I suspect that in a twisted way, my young friend was right -- this is a place where kids go wild and do whatever they want. There are plenty of mattresses, beer bottles, and other stuff to indicate that they frequently do.
There are other things of interest in Kidland as well. For example, this field, which is just inexplicable. Maybe it's some kind of parking lot for the dock workers. I saw it and my first reaction was to organize the most lurid picnic ever.
Finally, there is this trail which runs along the railroad tracks and leads through the West End all the way to downtown, at the Graffiti Graveyard. I rode the trail most of the way downtown, ignoring the No Trespassing signs and eluding the railroad cops. There are some pretty cool bogs, bridges, and other points of interest. It's a pretty clean trail, though, all in all.
But I bet it totally comes to life some nights.