Monday, June 05, 2006

BusMonth Diary: Day 5

I had a longer column explaining my June bus experiment in the actual paper on Sunday. But here are my observations from the last few days.

Friday, June 2: Here's another thing I learned. You meet people on public transportation, whether you want to or not! On Friday a young shaved man riding the Red Line from NoHo to Ho proper struck up a brief conversation with me. At first I thought he was hitting on me when he asked, "Are you Italian?" Then I realized that he was pushing his art when he gave me a post card explaining his personal story and art. Still, it was nice to have an actual conversation, and his art is nice to look at. You can check it out here.

Sat. and Sun, June 3-4: I spent the two days holed up inside with the A/C cranking, reading or watching TV. This wasn't car withdrawal per se. I had been planning a bus tour of Hollywood on Saturday, but two blocks from home I was blasted into a sweating, woozy blob and turned around and limped home. And then stayed there all weekend. Normally, I would have been driving around, probably from store to store, spending money on stuff for home improvement projects I might get to at some point in the next year. Lunch with friends. Movies. That sort of thing. I saved a lot of money this way, but didn't have much to show for my weekend.

Monday, June 5: Who knew I might one day welcome the return of June gloom. "Gloom is Good" is my new motto. Certainly my perspecitve has changed with the new morning ritual that includes a 1.1 mile walk to catch the bus on the side of the 101 freeway. It's no fun to arrive at work stinky and disheveled. The quick and pleasant morning commutes on LADOT's Commuter Express ( just 35 minutes to Warner Center!) make the daily 2-hour Orange Line/Red Line/MTA bus return journey bearable. But only just.

This morning, as I read my free copy of Hoy, I noted with satisfaction that about a third of the bus riders were also reading a newspaper. But there was not an LA Times, Daily News or NY Times in the lot. Half were reading La Opinion, the other half the freebie tabloid Hoy. I'm starting to think I should concentrate on improving my Spanish grammar if I want to continue to be a print journalist in LA.

Note about LADOT maintenance: This morning, I noticed the copies of Hoy and Daily News that I left Friday morning for other commuters to partake was still stuffed in the same place. I guess the buses don't get the daily cleaning I expected. Good to know.


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