The Rosa F. Keller Library (Edward Abbey post)

Standing on the corner of Cadiz and S. Tonti, you can’t tell that anything is nearby besides pothole-perforated streets and shotgun houses. The live oaks and crepe myrtles lining the sidewalks obscure your ability to see more than a block or so. However, walking east on S. Tonti for two blocks (minding your feet on the sidewalk that rises with the intrusion of oak roots and cypress knees before plunging back into the soft, wet earth) brings you to the busier corner of Napoleon and S. Tonti, though you wouldn’t quite know it from the signposting, as half of the S. Tonti street sign on this corner has been missing for a decade or so. Turning to the north and travelling four blocks, you find a row of much nicer two-story houses, their fences adorned with patterned vines and painted eyes. At the end of this line is what passes for an intersection; three main streets, each divided by a neutral ground (“median,” for those who are wrong), clash in a series of loops and whorls punctuated by grassy, triangular islands and fading, arcane crosswalks. A blind corner a few feet to the northwest bristles with vision-clouding vines. You should have crossed Napoleon earlier, but for some reason you never do. Turning to the east and furtively dashing from one neutral ground to the next, and from there to the sidewalk, you are faced with your destination: the Rosa F. Keller Library, its ancient brick walls coexisting tensely with the newer, steel-and-glass section to the northeast, its ramps and stairs colliding with the overgrown flowering shrubs outside its doors as all beckon for you to enter.

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