During yesterday's marathon, I chatted with a lady volunteer at one of the aid stations. I asked her about the loud cracking sound, and she confirmed it was gun fire.
"Where are you from?" she asked.
I answered: "Chicago. Can you hear it?"
She repeated that to her friends, she thought that was so funny. Of course she could hear it! Ottawa is only an hour and 16 minutes from my house, but it is not a suburb. You're into "downstate" as we call it, even though, if you look at a map, Ottawa is well into the northern region of the state.
New Yorkers do the same thing with "upstate".
Most of the people are here,
clustered around the big city.
Most of the land is out there,
scenery spread green and pretty.