Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Inspiration, or Why Writing About Transit Experiences Is Important

Happy New Year, everyone! May your trains never break down and your buses always arrive on time... except for when you're running late yourself.

I was prompted (can't remember why) to think about why I love thinking about transit and writing about transit. I had an influence, one that doesn't even know the effect she had on me.

I am speaking of one Kate Lopresti.

I'm not surprised that you've never heard her name. Most people haven't. She's a Portland, Oregon gal whose claim to fame, at least in my book, is that she wrote a series of zines called The Constant Rider.

Yes, Ms. Lopresti is a transit geek like me, like us. Also like me, she prefers to write about her experiences on transit rather than do academic analysis. She writes of her journey across Canada on the train, of passing out on the light rail train The MAX, and of her experiences on her beloved TriMET bus, the 47 Hawthorne. She's a consummate observer of humanity, writing with an eye for that which we call the human drama. From people who won't pay to keep riding at the end of the Fareless Square to passengers with unfortunate food choices (sardines on a cramped train? I don't think so!) to gulping down one's produce before customs, no detail of existence misses Kate's eye.

And it's experiences like this that show the importance of transit. I'm guessing that when the experts sit down to lay out new transit, or to change routes, or to mess with the budget, they deal with numbers and cold hard facts. They don't think of the experiences they'll be removing or changing. The leisurely Metro ride turned cramped and crowded. The late night bus trip back from one's lover now impossible because the bus doesn't run that late. The missed connections with passengers, the lost conversations with drivers. Of course, new experiences will replace the old, but what do we lose?

Transit isn't just a way to get around. It's an experience, it's a part of our lives. Kate's work makes this abundantly clear.

I've owned The Constant Rider Omnibus for years now. My copy is battered and beaten, bent from making its way to the bottom of my bag, stained from spilled liquids. In other words, well loved. After I read it, I'm always inspired to write about my own experiences on transit, wishing that I had more exciting ones to share and write about. (Edit: After reading the website, I'm realizing that I have the 1st edition, which only has zines 1-3 in it. The 2nd edition has additional zines 4-7. Perhaps it's time to replace my old worn out copy with the new one with more content.)

But perhaps that's the point. It doesn't always have to be exciting. Sometimes it's just the grateful look a mother with a little one gives you when you give up your seat so that her and her child may sit. Sometimes it's a bus driver who's unusually pleasant after a long day or who lets you on the bus, despite the fact you're 10 cents short on fare.

Thank you, Kate, for reminding us of the important things in life. Thank you, Kate, for sharing your slice of the world of transit. And thank you, Ms. Kate Lopresti, for inspiring me to write about my transit experiences.

Labels: ,

11 Comments:

At 11:06 PM, Blogger Adron said...

That looks pretty interesting. I must correct one part though, that Hawthorne Bus in Portland, OR is the #14, not the #47. :)

Great blog.

 
At 9:31 AM, Blogger yoga and meditation said...

As for Yoga and Meditation, you should know that there is nothing that will improve your mental well being better that a great session of daily meditation, because with meditation you can achieve improvement of your body’s luster and also in general a much better health, also, great meditation leads to great improvement of your concentration, which becomes really handy in everyday life, in studying, in sports, and overall in your daily activities.

 
At 12:07 PM, Blogger aftershave balm said...

Aftershave Balm

I fodder that this article this is very interesting and tuna but simultaneously believe that the man would be due to apply after shaved a balsam to avoid the irritation by this is due to look for lotions for this.You can find more info at: http://www.bestaftershaveformen.com

 
At 5:50 AM, Blogger madda Solutioni said...

Our high qualified personnel take care about you and your business when it comes to web development for Brisbane market. We are providing to our clients web development services in order to attract viewers, to help them promoting their products or services. To succeed in offering web development to the customers in Brisbane, we use all our resources and all our skills.
web design Brisbane
Brisbane web design
seo brisbane
ecommerce Brisbane
social marketing Brisbane
web development Brisbane
Magento developer brisbane
content marketing Brisbane
http://www.knd.com.au

 
At 5:50 AM, Blogger madda Solutioni said...


Schimburi de informatii despre firmele de transport, expeditie, productie si comert.
Bursa de marfuri
Bursa transport
Marfa
Transport
Transport international
Transport marfa
Transport rutier
Expeditie
Logistica
Casa expeditie
http://www.logintrans.ro

 
At 5:50 AM, Blogger madda Solutioni said...

It is a great pleasure reading that you posted here.Thank you for sharing this wonderful post
--------------------
Property managers
Property management Brisbane
Investment property Brisbane
Property management service
Property managers Brisbane
Rental property management Brisbane
property management service NUNDAH
property managers NUNDAH
http://www.investment-realestate.com.au


If what you need is a change in your life to feel confident, prettier and healthy, our cosmetic clinic will provide you high quality services to make you feel all that. In order to achieve that our qualified team from cosmetic clinic will take care of you and indirectly rebuilding the self - confidence. Our cosmetic clinic stuff will handle it with maximum discretion.
--------------------
Income protection Insurance
Trauma Insurance
TPD insurance
Life Insurance Brisbane
http://www.lifequotes.com.au

 
At 5:50 AM, Blogger madda Solutioni said...

Working with skilled house builders from Brisbane we took our projects to a high level of performance. Our clients have the benefit of enjoying their new home with doing anything. The house
builders in Brisbane are ecognized by excellent work that they have done creating exclusive and unique places to live in. You have to tell us your dreams, and with the help of our house builders from Brisbane will make it become true.
house builders brisbane
home builder brisbane
home renovations Brisbane
http://www.olemus.com.au



Thinking about your needs and desires we developed special services when it comes to accommodation Brisbane CBD. We offer you accommodation Brisbane CBD special packages that conceived just for you, our customers in order to choose the best. The accommodation Brisbane CBD has trained stuff that will make you journey easier and relaxing.
--------------------
brisbane hotels
hotel accommodation brisbane
accommodation brisbane cbd
hotel brisbane cbd
http://www.rothburyhotel.com.au

 
At 5:50 AM, Blogger madda Solutioni said...

Expert Training va ofera o gama variata de cursuri acreditate si cursuri calificare. Va asteptam.
--------------------
curs calificare
inspector resurse umane
cursuri acreditate
Curs calificare inspector resurse umane
http://www.experttraining.ro

 
At 5:50 AM, Blogger madda Solutioni said...


Considering that clients are our most valuable assets, we are putting our best effort in offering them the services of our specialized franchise lawyers. The Franchise lawyers that Redchip has are experienced and well trained to take good care of your business. The franchise lawyer will act in your best interest even if it is just an advice or an entire process.
brisbane lawyers
lawyers brisbane
commercial disputes
commercial litigation
franchise lawyer
property lawyer brisbane
commercial lawyer Brisbane
dispute resolution brisbane
estate planning brisbane
asset protection brisbane
tax lawyer brisbane
business structuring brisbane
commercial disputes brisbane
franchise solicitor brisbane
commercial litigation brisbane
http://www.redchip.com.au

 
At 5:51 AM, Blogger madda Solutioni said...

Tratamente detoxifiere, Tratamente naturiste, remedii naturiste, Produse naturiste doar pe http://www.ekiibrium.ro. Va asteptam!
......................................
tratament
tratamente
produse naturiste
tratamente naturiste
remedii naturiste
detoxifiere
http://www.ekilibrium.ro

 
At 5:52 AM, Blogger madda Solutioni said...

Aging is a problem for all of us, and when the lotions do not accomplish their goals we go further. This means using a dermal filler treatment. There is nothing shameless in doing it. Everyone does the dermal filler no matter if they are men or women. We all want to feel go
--------------------
Microdermabrasion
Dermal fillers
Skin Clinic Brisbane
Botox Brisbane
cosmetic clinic Brisbane
clinic Brisbane
http://www.shineclinic.com

 

Post a Comment

<< Home