Friday, August 26, 2011

On Los Angeles Transportation

What a joke. I'm not kidding.

It's no wonder the freeways are a tragic mess, congested and whatnot. Public transportation is unreliable...and nonsensical.

To paint an image: my mom, brother and I purchase metro passes, just as we would in New York or Boston. We walk to the turnstile and a big button reads "tap here" We tap our cards, press the button, look for a way to swipe in. We can't do it. Finally, a LA native arrives and tells us we can just walk through. We just waltzed onto the subway, no need to pay. And once we were down there, boy did I want to get back above ground.

Took the train to Hollywood, which was quite the experience. Saw Sunset Blvd and the Chinese Theater (got roped into tipping some grown men dressed up as Darth Vader). Ate in a Hard Rock Cafe. Questionable waitstaff. A man, a walking tattoo gallery, rather, approached our table and said, "be right back" and rushed away frantically. He didn't return. Our new waiter was fine, but made a wincing face when we told him we needed to take the subway home. Not reassuring, let me tell you.

The train was late, but luckily a man dressed up as a clown was on the platform to entertain the LA population foolish enough to accept public transportation. I was freaking out, trying to calculate the miles back to New York. I'd rather've walked at that point.

Late train followed by a tardy bus...we stood in some financial-district-by-day, shelter-by-night street corner for, get this, THIRTY FIVE minutes. 35. Wasn't too frightening, almost comical actually. Once we boarded, we found the root of the problem: a bored girl who wouldnt leave the distracted driver alone. We stopped on the next corner, no one entering nor exiting, and idled for 5 whole minutes, while this chick blabbered away. I think he was just leaving the door open, hoping she'd exit.

The whole time we kept laughing about the TAP here incident and wondering if the subway really was free.

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