Tuesday, September 13, 2016

"I'm on a train."

It is roughly 7.3 miles from the heart of Culver City to the heart of Santa Monica, California. Or 11 minutes as the crow flies.

Of course if you were a crow in a cage and that cage were in the backseat of 2007 Lexus, it could take you well over an hour and twenty minutes.

That's assuming the assnuggets on the 405 and the 10 are not busy texting or doing Pilates or eating sushi with chopsticks (actually seen that), or doing anything but driving their goddamned cars.

And so this week, and the past two weeks, I have been straphanging. Riding the recently completed Expo Line and enjoying the fruits of my oversized tax deductions.

As a verified ferroequinolist, or railfan for the layman, I can tell you our Southern California steel horses are quite different than others.

In Paris for example it is not unusual to still spot the locals, particularly the older ones, lighting up a cigarette on the train. Or making out. Or both.

In London, you'd be hard pressed to find any litter on the Tube. Maybe it was the part of town I was in, but the trains were spotless.

In Germany, for obvious reasons, I chose not to ride the trains during my ill-fated trip to Deutschland.

Of course, when it comes to trains, and subways more specifically, nothing can compete with the Big Apple.

As a teenager, I worked at my dad's office in lower Chelsea and had ample opportunity to ride the rails. Part of me wishes I had stayed in NYC, if only for the colorful dialogue, the conflagrations and the jawdropping oddities one can only witness on the Pelham 123.

If there is a heaven, you can keep your white robes and violins, I'll take a front row plastic seat on the Number 7 Line and an eternal ricketty ride through the human zooscape that is the Big Apple.

Sadly, the current ride to Santa Monica offers little in the way of people gawking. Sure, there's a pleasant diversity of Hispanic housemaids and African American bike messengers, and hipster media workers with their handlebar mustaches and Melrose avenue man-purses, but little in the way of unusual.

Yesterday, I saw a Pakistani guy holding two iPhones. He was wired into an old episode of Seinfeld on one phone while playing Candy Crush/Farmville/or some other stupid ass video nonsense on the other.


This week, I'm hoping for something more exciting, something in a New York State of Mind.

This for instance would make my day:

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