Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Bus Report #71

Reporting on events in the Hub of the Universe... Boston, Massachusetts

I just spent a lovely weekend in the Hub, celebrating my parent's anniversary (32 years, can I have a round of applause?) and baby sis's birthday.
It was a lovely visit, so before we get down to Mass Transit business, a few thank you's:

Thanks to the Moores for EVERYTHING. You are the best!

Thanks to Lil' C. for a fun afternoon in Harvard Square. No matter how much the Square changes, I know we'll always be friends.

Thanks to Mykael, for coming to the rained-in, City Year staff and random friends BBQ. It was a pleasure to see you, and we loved the lilacs.

Thanks to a certain half-naked rock and roll band, for making Sunday night fun for me and baby sis. And thanks to the door man for not charging baby sis to come in!

Thanks to Lala, for taking some time out of your crazy schedule for some hanging out. It was fun!

Ok, now on with the show.

I took the C line with Mom on Thursday, to Park Street. It was not too full and the air conditioning was actually working. We even got seats on the way back, what a feat! It was funny to me that I had to pay $1.25. Where was I, San Francisco?

On Friday I went to Harvard Square to meet up with Lil' C. The 66 bus used to be my bus when I worked there, and even earlier in my High School and College days, when I'd go there to shop or meet friends.
They have new environmentally friendly 66 busses, but I was not impressed.
The good: Environmentally friendly, which is a good thing.
The bad: too narrow, not enough seating, no openable windows, and the back of the bus is up a short flight of stairs, which means a pain in the ass for anyone with a cane, walker or stroller. Also, the wheel wells are huge and in order to even get to a seat you need to come three feet or so into the bus. I watched several elderly people have trouble with this. They were helped by other passengers, but it was not cool, seeing grandmas having to grope along the wheel wells for a railing (which was not there)before squeezing into one of only 3 accessible seats.
I got to the square and back with no problem, except that they rerouted the busses in Harvard Square so I did not know where I could catch it on the way back. I ended up standing at the Eliot Street stop, because we'd passed it on the way in.

That's it for now....

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Bus Report #70

It is officially summer here in San Francisco, at least temperature wise. I left the house without a jacket today, and the sun was really bright.
The 38L stopped at my stop, which was curious since the Limited is, well, a Limited bus and never stops at my stop. It continued to make all the stops, so I guess it was not a Limited after all.
Mr. Polite was confused by the mislabled bus, and he kept looking out the window at all the stops.
On the 22, it smelled horribly of the orange scented cleaner they use to wash down the busses. All the windows were shut too, despite the heat and the smell. The first chance I got, I yanked a few of them open. As we rattled down Fillmore, tons of regulars got on:
The kids from Eddy block.
The super tall woman.
The very boyish teenage girl who always looks sad.
The Cor-O-Van guys.
I saw my favorite sweatshop lady and we chatted for a minute.
J. got on at Guerrero and we talked a little too. Haven't seen her in months.
The bus emptied out at Potrero.
At my stop, I almost collided with a guy talking on his cell phone.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Bus Report #69

Not much to report on the public transit front. MUNI made the Bay Area section today with a story of a driver ‘going postal’ (their phrase, not mine) on a disabled passenger. Yeah, color me surprised.
The MBTA (Boston transit system) is phasing out tokens in favor of a new transit card they are calling the Charlie Card (Have you ever heard the story bout a man named Charlie who was riding on the MTA?) I guess M. won’t be able to scam the T anymore by feeding the machines Cordobas instead of tokens. Whatever will she do with all her Cordobas? Actually save them to spend on ice creams and copies of La Prensa in Nicaragua? Only M. can say for sure.
Maybe I’ll see Carmen on the bus in the morning. Maybe something interesting will happen sometime soon. In the meantime, I have weekend house guests to enjoy and plan to wallow in some nostalgia if I get really bored tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Bus Report #68

Sunday I took the bus to Potrero Hill to meet up with The Teacher's Pet. Unbeknownst to those of us on the 22 (Me, a woman with a new baby, several elderly Russian people, the woman with the ugly hat and more) the busses were only running to McAllister and then we had to walk to Haight to catch the bus again. This was because of Bay to Breakers, San Francisco's wackiest race. It goes from Downtown to the park, and most people walk the race in costumes, drinking a lot and having a blast. So, while the racers had a blast, those of us from the 22 hiked 6 blocks up Fillmore and then down it, wove our way through the race itself and then waited impatiently at the corner of Haight and Fillmore. The only consolation: the costumes. There was a crew of people dressed up as lamps, a manly bride and his womanly husband, people wearing swim suits and caps, and several people in fat suits.

Monday started out promising: (in)famous bus driver, Carmen, The mom with the 4 well behaved kids and some other regulars. AS usual, someone picked a fight with the driver over paying a fare. Several people snuck in on the back and refused to leave and come to the front despite his repeated orders.

Tuesday the afternoon commute was full of beautiful boys. They all work somewhere on 16th near Harrison. Note to self: get a job where they work. Or find out where they take lunch.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Bus Report #67

Last night on the bus, everyone had a walkman. This was curious (as of late I have been the only commuter without and IPod) but heartening. One guy kept opening his walkman (a yellow sports style walkman), flipping the tape, closing it, pressing buttons like mad, then starting the whole thing over. I wanted to point out that maybe keeping his MUNI transfer inside the walkman was causing it to not work.
The bus was packed. I managed to get a seat though, right next to Ramon. we talked about his week (he is a sales clerk at a high-end carpet store) and about the design center in general.
On the 38, another guy with a walkman was doing the tape-flipping thing for about 10 minutes.

This morning I came into work early. Carmen was on the 38 so we were able to chat for quite a long time, on our usual subjects: our work, our families and her girlhood in Mexico. She's a doll.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Bus Report #66

I got a ride home from work today from A. As we sped down 16th, we drove past Stephanie waiting at her usual stop. She waved and smiled at me. A few blocks later we were at the light on Harrison and I spotted British-look-guy. I pointed him out to A. “See that guy? He rides my bus.” He saw me looking in his direction. He gave me a half-wave and a smile. I waved and smiled back, and I think I blushed, starting low on my neck and creeping up to my cheeks. The light changed and we drove on.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Bus Report #65

Not much to report lately.
I've had a few bus stop chats with Ramon, the Teen and Ebony, saw Dave twice last week (Once at the bus stop).
Spent yesterday's afternoon commute on the 33, listening to a report on NPR about adoption that had me tearing up as we made our way up to the Haight. It was really bright out so I pretended I was teary from the light.
This morning Mr. Polite let me get on the bus ahead of him. Crossword lady worked her daily crossword, and the moustached guy was barking into his cell phone as usual.