Hejira

 

public transportation nerd

September 25. 2000

because i'm such a dork, some more pictures of subways:

signal

signal

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platform

platform

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platform

ramp leading down to the platform

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car

subway car

Today I went on a public transportation extravaganza, because I had to get pictures for my upcoming painting assignment (subject: urban landscape), and because I had to get downtown to buy some heavy duty stretcher strips for said painting.

First stop was the Fern Rock Transportation Center, where the Broad Street Subway begins, and where various buses and the regional rail pass by. It's the only stop on the subway that's above ground. I've always found it to be a lonely place, but that's probably because I've never been there at rush hour.

The weather while I was there was perfect. Well, maybe not typically perfect, but perfect for me. Windy, cool but not cold, a low cloud cover. I love weather like this, and that combined with the thrill and happiness of watching all the trains come out of the tunnel was just so unbelievably wonderful.

I got on the express train downtown. I was the only one in the car until we got to Olney, then it immediately filled with large volumes of loud high school kids just let out of school. Two rather obnoxious teeny-boppers sat down near me and discussed the status and nature of high school social circles. Now there's something I don't miss.

By the time I got out of the subway, the perfectly nice day had already turned to rain, and me without an umbrella. With my big baggy pants and oversize cargo jacket, I almost felt like a bum in the midst of this hip, glitzy crowd. It was cold, so I walked quickly to Utrecht to get my supplies. Stretcher strips are damn expensive.

I went to the Xando on the corner of 15th and Walnut. My first time in a Xando, and I've concluded that they are infinitely better than Starbucks, because:

1. They have much larger selection of drinks and food.

2. Their prices are better (a comparable drink at Starbucks would've cost me $5 or $6, at Xando it was $4).

3. The atmosphere is much more inviting...tall velvet drapes, comfortable but hip hodgepodge of couches and chairs, small votive candles at each small, circular table. Lighting was non-fluorescent, provided by warm lamps. It was (dare I say) cozy, which is something I've never found a Starbucks to be.

I can't believe it's come to me comparing international coffee conglomerates. Christ.

I do love being downtown, though. I wish I lived nearer to all the action there. It confirms my notion more and more that the urban environment is strangely soothing and comforting to me. Whenever I'm there, I feel like the calm eye of a hurricane, with the whole world swirling around me.

One Year Ago:
trying to figure out the 'rents