The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

June 15, 2007





Below, folks, is what we in Canada's Gateway City to the West call Confusion Corner, back in the 50s or something, obviously in the dead of a Winnipeg winter.

Is it any wonder I am so all over the place and seem lost at times?

The picture below is it, more or less, today...although the mass of streets all intersecting at one spot is so great, they couldn't get them all in the shot. I hope you get the point.

Or maybe you're confused?

I could not find much on the Internet, and certainly not on the City of Winnipeg website -- what city would really want to admit to creating such a mess? -- but this place does exist.

It is purported to have the largest number of street signs of any intersection of any sizeable city in the world.

I could not find that figure but I believe it's something like 249 traffic signs.

If you were some unfortunate sod visiting for the first time from out of town, could you figure out the sign above? That, more or less, is Confusion Corner.

It's so renowned here in our city of some 800,000 people that some smart-ass entrepreneur built a restaurant called -- ha ha, you guessed it -- Confusion Corner right there!

I've never been there...couldn't find it. OK, I could find it...but I just couldn't park anywhere within three miles to go to it.

As I hear it, the waitresses and waiters are so disoriented they all bump into each other and the drink orders and the food orders always seem to get mixed up or brought to the wrong tables.

You'd think the tips would be small as a result, but patrons apparently lose their equilibrium. When they can find their wallets, they leave $20 bills when they really mean to leave $10's.

Now Winnipeg, in many ways, is a beautiful city. We have The Forks at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers.

We have Assiniboine Park, a wide expanse of nature I've not seen any city match. We have the Corydon Strip, a funky place with great bars and nightlife. Same with the Osborne Street Village.

Outside the city, you can travel in any direction and be at some of the greatest sand beaches or freshwater lakes in the world.

But our so-called city planners couldn't find their feet if they sent out a search party. I'm sure there's some very complicated reason for the need for Confusion Corner to exist.

Screw that.

Maybe this was the city planning department's version of playing a big joke on us Winnipeggers, to force us to traverse, every day, such a huge hurdle mimicking life's struggles.

Which way to go about this relationship or that? How do I get from here to there? Which path should I take? There are always other roads branching off in other directions.

Do you have a famous intersection in your city or town that is an absolute nightmare to navigate? Do you have your own Confusion Corner or Mission Impossible that mirrors life?