In the Bus Bag
Unaccustomed Earth, by Jhumpa Lahiri
Monthly Archives: May 2007
Yesterday, while many drivers were busy avoiding gas stations, this non-gas-buying transit type actually visited one. Why? Because, you see, gas stations (especially those near isolated transfer points like Montlake Freeway Station) offer a very useful service to bus riders: public restrooms.
For Jerome–born May 15, 1939
I was just one of your children. I wasn’t the oldest and I wasn’t a son. Wasn’t good at sports or confident enough to impress you. I was just one of your children, but you were my hero. The man to whom all others have been compared–none ever as brave, as smart, as strong.
How many days did I watch you bolt your soggy cereal and grab your briefcase, sprinting up the alley to a world I wished I knew? That world symbolized courage and independence, and everything I wanted to be. To …
1) An ad against buses–on a bus.
The political ad shows a Rapid transit bus that has morphed into a pig. It’s eating money and spewing pollution.
“This pig stinks!” it reads in bold letters.
What is most surprising is the venue — it soon will appear on the back of a Rapid bus.
A group paid $290 to place the 21-by-72-inch ad on the bus for a month to show its opposition to a transit system millage campaign.
2) Chicago businesses request higher taxes to increase investment in transit.
walking to the bus stop after a long day at work, on a sunny evening when the mountain is out and your schmipod is playing a song so good you don’t care who sees you groovin’ down the sidewalk. Happiness turns to pure bliss when you also happen to be on your way home to watch game three of the Eastern Conference semifinals. (Go Pistons!)
A couple of Wednesdays ago, I met Tom Bakker, also known as the Human Bus Schedule. If you’ve watched Evening Magazine anytime in the past decade, you probably already know who the Human Bus Schedule is. (Apparently, they taped a show with him in 1996 and have repeated it 23 times since.) Me? I hadn’t heard of him until Charlie Tiebout (of February Golden Transfer fame) introduced us over e-mail.
It all started back in the day, when Metro was still Seattle Transit, and six-year old Tom wanted to try riding the bus. First, he asked his parents …
My favorite part (besides meeting the man himself): Transitman’s version of the bus chick bag:
(You will note that our hero is a Real Change reader.)
I also loved the photographs and the comic panels, but I don’t have good pictures of either. Plus, if I show you everything, you won’t have an incentive to see the exhibit–and you need to. It’s worth the trip. It was even worth missing the first half of the Mavericks-Warriors game.
On its way from downtown to Mount Baker, this well-used route happens to pass SOIL gallery. And SOIL gallery just so happens to be hosting an exhibit by former Sound Transit artist-in-residence Christian French, also known as Transitman.
Here’s how Transitman describes his project:
A meditation on the power of choice, and the ramifications of its exercise, this project expresses some of my assumptions about the hidden capacities we all have to make a difference in the world. Every act has infinite consequence. Even a simple choice like how you commute. We have the power to shape …
High-school girl 1: “It’s a dinner. I’m getting in free or I wouldn’t be going. They called and asked if I wanted fish or chicken.”
HSG 2: “Fish!”
HSG 1: “Please! You don’t know what the fish looks like. You can’t just say ‘fish’ over the phone like that. Chick-en.”