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It was an afternoon with thunderstorms in the air. The locomotive was bearing down on the crossing.
Residents of the Bywater have to negotiate the trains everyday. It has become an interesting exercise. There are no gates over the tracks, only red flashing lights. Sometimes, people take a gamble - the engine is slow or even stopped; they drive over the tracks.
Other drivers decide to take an alternate route - they cut through the neutral ground - sometimes at an intersection, sometimes driving right over the grass - and make a U-turn. I've done that - cutting a quick right turn down Press Street toward the Mississippi River, racing the slow-crawling engine to Chartres and crossing the tracks clean. Or else they go lakeward through the St. Claude neighborhood to Claiborne Avenue, which has an overpass spanning the tracks.
Whatever you chose, the trains are a part of your life. Deal with them.