Welcome to the City of Wanda's Domain, an imaginary city that I have created
and brought to life using art and writing. Look around and enjoy!

There are more pictures and maps down at the very bottom and in the archives!

What Wenda's listening to...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

City Profile Series: Begonia

One of the jewels in Wanda's Domain's crown is the beautiful city of Begonia, located about fifteen miles west of the city center in a small hidden valley at the base of the Taliesin Mountains.  Although technically a suburb with its relatively small population of 114,000 people, Begonia is known as a haven of the arts and culture, and a center of Celtic music and art in California, rivalling WD proper in number of galleries, theatres, concerts, and other cultural events per capita.  Its compact, pedestrian-friendly downtown invites strolling along the lively boulevards and side streets, window-shopping and taking in the nightlife.

The city is also home to several exquisite parks, including the well-loved Downtown View Park, which, as its name suggests, sits on a bluff directly above downtown.  Its many secluded vista points are favorite spots for couples on a Sunday afternoon.  Also, running north and south from the expansive Hannigan Wilderness Park directly through the heart of the city is the Marsh Creek Greenway, a favorite of kayakers, bikers, and joggers.

Getting There:

The city is connected to the rest of the WD metro area by two interstate highways:  east-west traffic is served by Interstate 138 (the Begonia Freeway), and north-south traffic utilizes Interstate 140 (the Elken's Domain Freeway).  In addition, the downtown area is served by a small state highway, California 401 (the Donald Shaw Freeway), which provides a near-complete loop around downtown.  Please note, however, that I-138 is the primary commuter route between Begonia and the WD city center, and suffers from nearly constant traffic woes; be sure to allow plenty of extra time when driving.

Getting Around:

Downtown Begonia is laid out primarily from north to south along Moya Brennan Blvd., between the Rose Hills and Begonia Blvd., the major east-west street and other primary commercial zone. Residential districts extend on the north and east side of the Rose Hills, as well as south of Begonia Blvd.  

North of the Rose Hills, most east-west traffic uses either Ordreya Ave. or Calle del OtoƱo.  In the industrialized western portion of the city, an additional city-maintained expressway is formed by Camino de Las Preguntas and Calle del Invierno, linking the industrial area easily with I-138.

Addresses are numbered with N, S, E, and W designations; the north/south dividing line being Begonia Blvd., and the east/west line at Moya Brennan Blvd. south of the Rose Hills, and Dylan St. north of the hills.  Although most streets follow a basic grid, some of the major thouroughfares tend to be routed a bit organically, curving around hills and other obstacles, and can change names and directions unexpectedly.  The best advice for an out-of-towner?  Carry a good map.

Public Transportation:

Begonia is served by the Wanda's Domain Transit system, including two light-rail lines and the Line 20 Streetcar on Begonia Blvd.  The Windrider Green Line runs east and west through the city, connecting Begonia and Wanda's Domain, and helps to ease the traffic strain on I-138.  The underground Boadicea Square station is directly below downtown Begonia, and provides a convenient place to catch the train.  On the east side, straddling the city boundary between Begonia and WD, is the north-south Windrider Bronze Line.   

In addition, eleven WDT bus lines run through the city, as well as five shuttle buses operated by the city.  Begonia is entirely within Fare Zone 2.  Although a bit hilly, Begonia is respected as a bicycling haven, with many bike lanes and off-street bike paths.  Ample bike parking is provided at all Windrider stations except Boadicea Square, as well as many major bus transfer points.  In fact, it is often easier to find a bike rack spot or even a locker than a parking spot at one of the city's few, far-between, and full park-and-ride lots!

Don't Miss:

Downtown View Park
Boadicea Square, and the Boadicea Statue at Moya Brennan Blvd. and Crounse St.
The Celtic Museum
The ever-changing displays at the galleries on Moya Brennan Blvd.
Kayaking on Marsh Creek

Enjoy your stay!
I wish...

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