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10 May 2007 @ 08:43 am
Yesterday's commuting lesson: if I get to Silver Spring metro, and I *see* my bus leaving, if I walk at top speed I can catch it at the first stop (which is a block past the AFI Silver, I note.) Traffic in downtown Silver Spring is that exciting in the afternoons these days.


Spring is here, and the tourists have returned home to roost. I'm pretty confident I have talked about this every year, but it's a big change in tone on the Metro. We have tourists year round, but spring brings a dramatic increase in volume, as well as a certain change in their makeup. They never carry anything, except maybe a tour guide they keep checking, a bag with some newly purchased souvenirs, or a Metro map. They're never dressed for the weather; the standard uniform is a t-shirt and shorts. And no matter how hard they try, they don't fit in with the flow of mass transit. They're always turning the wrong way, double-checking where they are midstream, and generally gumming up our efficiently flowing patterns.

By contrast, the vast majority of my fellow Metro riders are commuters. Most carry backpacks; it's a nomadic lifestyle, and you never know when you'll need headache medicine, or something to read when the train is stuck, or what have you. We're professionals, so we know which train car is the most efficient for us to get in on, so when we leave we're next to the escalators. And yes, even which door opens and closes. And no matter what else, we're dressed for the weather, coats, umbrellas, or otherwise.

There is a third class, actually: travelers. They're not regular Metro commuters, but they're locals, so they know what they're doing, and how to use the system. They don't stand on the wrong side of the escalator. They stick out because they're never dressed quite right (say, semi-formal wear) or they're carrying something odd (a guitar case, or a stack of seemingly-empty egg cartons.)

(More boring details: the Metro station "closest" to my work is Foggy Bottom, so every morning the Metro is thick with nurses in their hospital scrubs.) (Also, this morning there was a college chick wearing a KISS shirt, and all I could think was, I am pretty sure you've never even heard the band before.)

And all this reminds me, I need to plan a trip to the zoo soonly.
keep it darksnidegrrl on May 10th, 2007 01:20 pm (UTC)
Oh, Foggy Bottom. My first two years in this area, that was my stop. Memories!
danzanramon on May 10th, 2007 01:51 pm (UTC)
If you do go to the zoo, we should coordinate to get together for a beer or something at the Zoo Bar/cafe across the street from the Zoo (and conveniently, right next door to my place)
PMMJ: Captain Planet!cheetahmaster on May 10th, 2007 05:03 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a plan! Presuming we can tear the munchkin away from the critters.
Shannondj_ango on May 10th, 2007 06:04 pm (UTC)
Wow. I'm just about to rent a place there. (3000 Conn Ave, right?) How do you like it?

I'd like to sleep 100 meters from sloth bears, if possible.
danzanramon on May 10th, 2007 07:31 pm (UTC)
I'm actually at 3100 Connecticut. I've never actually been in 3000 CT, but the outside looks nice enough, and they have a parking lot in the back of it that I've always been envious of.

As far as the neighborhood is concerned, it's pretty great. Living next door to a bar, starbucks, and a newly opened 7-11 pretty much fulfills all of my needs.

If you can't get a reserved parking space, parking can be a hassle if you get home later than say, 8-9pm, and you end up having to park on Connecticut and getting up before 7am to move your car, or else they will tow you promptly and give you a $100 ticket.

Parking cops are also a hassle there.. Make sure your zone and inspection stickers are up to date.. they seem to patrol our side streets more than usual, probably because of all of the tourists.

Otherwise it's a great neighborhood, I'm sure that you will enjoy it!
Lemon Russlemonruss on May 11th, 2007 01:08 am (UTC)
I hate to muscle in, but I am all about a zoo trip or, you know, a beer with Dan. Let me know! Unless you're all plotting to kill me, in which case send me GPS coordinates. I need it for my friend....Thomas Hawk G. Missile the third.
Shannondj_ango on May 16th, 2007 03:52 pm (UTC)
Good to know, thanks. Cheers.
(Deleted comment)
PMMJ: Gamingcheetahmaster on May 10th, 2007 05:02 pm (UTC)
After two days in a row of people getting off an escalator and standing right there at the top I am seriously considering just bowling them over.
(Deleted comment)
PMMJ: Crazy Harry!cheetahmaster on May 10th, 2007 05:31 pm (UTC)
I can also taser them.
rshackleford: lincoln schauzerrshackleford on May 10th, 2007 07:40 pm (UTC)
re: the zoo
My unsolicited advice is, drive to Bethesda and park, if you're planning to metro in.

Unsolicited advice, pt 2: RED PANDA RED PANDA RED PANDA!@
PMMJ: Captain Planet!cheetahmaster on May 10th, 2007 08:00 pm (UTC)
Golden Lion Tamararin > Red Panda
Why Bethesda, per se?
rshackleford: sluggyrshackleford on May 10th, 2007 08:43 pm (UTC)
Re: your math seems to be a little faulty there
Because Bethesda metro is a lot closer to the zoo than the SS metro is (zoo is 5 stops from Bethesda, 12 from SS). And if you're going on a weekend, parking's free both places, while traffic getting to Bethesda is not so bad.

I mean, I'm just saying, that's what I plan on doing next time I go to the zoo.
Tarsustarsus4 on May 11th, 2007 02:01 am (UTC)
Re: your math seems to be a little faulty there
I parked at Grosvenor last time for the same reason. It's two more stops than Bethesda, but it's much much closer to the beltway.