Tag Archives: 27

27 + Link = Seahawks!

Despite the fact that my Sonics are long gone, Nerd and I were still able to witness a Detroit/Seattle matchup this weekend. I am, of course, happy the Hawks won (What about them Seeeeeahawks?!), though sad for my beloved that his team lost. Then again, given the mood of the Hawks fans in the first quarter (and Nerd’s prominently displayed Lions gear), it’s probably best that things turned out as they did. I digress.

Is it just me, or is Link’s Stadium Station not the best stop to use to get to Seahawks Stadium? Of course we loved having an excuse to ride Link, but, given the amount of walking (backtracking north, that is) we had to do, it would probably have made more sense for us to get off at the ID station–or just to have walked the entire way from Pioneer Square.

Regular Seahawk/Sounder Link riders, what say you?

A whole new world

There was lots of shakeup talk on the buses today: rider-to-rider chatter, cell phone conversations, bus-wide discussions, and endless questions for drivers.

The new 48
Metro’s less-heavy weight

I have to say, as much as I loathe change (and as much as I will surely miss hopping the 48 for all my southbound needs), the New Bus Order actually seems to be working in my favor. Some examples of the goodness:

The 8 now runs in my neighborhood on weekends. Folks, I have been dreaming of this day for most of my car-free life (six-and-a-half years and counting), and I cannot believe it’s actually happened. Capitol Hill (specifically, the north end of 15th Ave) will be seeing at lot more of me on Saturday afternoons.
• The 27 now connects with the 17 instead of the 25. I love this for several reasons, the most important of which is that my brother Jeremy recently moved to Ballard, and Metro now provides what amounts to a door-to-door ride from my place to his. (Much beloved) brother aside, I have a lot more reasons to go to Ballard than I do to go to Laurelhurst.* And honestly, the connection just seems to make more sense. While the 27/17 combo eliminates an already necessary transfer between the Central District and Ballard, the 27/25 combo is slower and less direct than the two-bus options (48+75 and 48+30) between the CD and Laurelhurst.**
• Now that the 14 stops at Mount Baker Station, I have four ways to connect with Link: 27 to DSTT, 4 to DSTT, 48 to Mount Baker Station, and 14 to Mount Baker Station. I don’t go to the airport all that often, but when I do, I’ll have more control of when I come and go.

I’m sure I’ll discover more things to like (and not) as I ride more.

Your turn. How have Metro’s latest changes affected you?

* No offense to all my former school buddies who lived there back in the day–I do miss our excursions to the Mr. Peepers-era U Village–or to the very alt-commute friendly Children’s Hospital.
** Really, though, there’s no fast way to get from where I live to Laurelhurst, despite the fact that it’s not all that far.

Deja 2…and 3, and 4, and (alas!) 27

Folks, I wrote about this phenomenon in ’07 and am still struggling to understand.

If you were looking forward to several months free of Howyoudoin?s, Whatsyourname?s, and Youmarried?s, prepare to be disappointed. You will, in fact, continue to be propositioned — both by members of that group of discerning gentlemen who don’t bother to look at the women they’re chatting up, and by an even more disturbing group: men who are actually attracted to pregnant women. Listen, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Should I be concerned (not for myself so much as for all of humanity) that I get more play* when waddling around town with child (and wearing a wedding ring) than I did back when I was a single bus chick?

*Interestingly (or perhaps not), I am rarely bothered (pregnant or not) when I travel with Chicklet.

Bus Chick plays suburban mom

Last Sunday, the bus fam made a rare weekend trip to the Eastside (48+545+221) to attend a birthday party at–ahem!–Chuck E. Cheese. The place didn’t seem to impress Chicklet much, but then again, she’d already taken three exciting rides (with big wheels and spinning seats and ringing bells!) before we even arrived.

Yesterday, Chicklet and I made another trip to the Eastside (27+550)–for our second-ever visit to Babies R Us. The store itself was a bit frightening (Have I mentioned that I don’t care for shopping?), but the excursion was delightful. The entire trip took three hours, which included about 45 minutes in the store. The rest of the time was spent traveling/waiting, certainly longer than it would have taken to drive (sans traffic) to and from Bellevue, but–by my calculations–we didn’t lose any time. During our trip, Chicklet lunched, napped, and “read” (with the help of Mommy) her latest favorite books. I enjoyed several short, brisk walks in the sunshine (no need to set aside special time to exercise) and quality time with my kid. Had we been home, we wouldn’t have spent the afternoon much differently.

And I challenge any SUV mom to top the big vehicle we used to carry home our purchases.

27 + 55 = Mom

Today, we visited the church where my mother’s ashes are buried. I visit frequently throughout the year, but it’s always hardest on the anniversary of her passing. She’s missed a lot in the two years she’s been gone.

In honor of a woman with no equal, who could pull off leather pants with an apron and heeled mules at a Mariners game, a Real Change column from 2007:

On Jan. 3, after a four-and-a-half year battle with breast cancer, my mother, Caroline Dunne Saulter, died. She was 61 years old.

Caroline never approved of my choice to live without a car. She blamed herself, for allowing me to ride the bus at such an early age; my father, for showing me how; my husband, for providing my first example of car-freedom; and me, for being my stubborn, willful (and impractical) self. She wanted me to live a mainstream middle-class life, to stay indefinitely when I visited (instead of until the last bus left her neighborhood), to be protected from the elements, and to be inside (either a building or a vehicle) after dark. Despite my unwavering commitment to my choice, she hoped that one day I would grow up, get over it, and just buy a hybrid already.

The irony of this is that it was, in large part, my mother’s example that gave me the courage to step outside the mainstream and choose a life that reflected my values.

Caroline’s commitment to her own ideals began at an early age. Despite her head-turning beauty and easy popularity, she chose not to accept the bigoted views of her peers in the suburban Ohio town where she attended high school and almost always found herself on the “wrong” side of lunch-table arguments. When she was 16, she took a bus by herself from Cleveland to Washington, D.C., to participate in the March on Washington. She remembered the experience as one of the most moving of her life.

In 1966, she left college, joined Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), and moved to Oregon to help improve conditions for Russian and Mexican migrant workers. It was there that she met my father, a Seattle native and brilliant University of Oregon architecture student who also happened to be Black. They married — at a time when many states still had anti-miscegenation laws — and finished school together.

When Caroline was 28 and most of her girlfriends were shopping preschools, she and my father joined the Peace Corps and moved (along with my older sister, Carey, and me) to Morocco for two years. After we returned, she continued to give her time to the causes she cared about while raising her (eventually four) children.

When she was 57, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She battled the disease with grace and courage — continuing to participate in life to the extent she was able and, in the process, inspiring countless other cancer patients.

So it is not despite, but because of Caroline that I have chosen to live according to my beliefs. Though her life was cut short, she managed to leave the world in better shape than she found it. How could I, presented with her example, not attempt to do the same?

I wish Chicklet could have met her.

A nutcracker in shining armor

Bus Nerd and I have recently returned from a lovely evening out. (That’s two nights out in one week–a record since the arrival of Chicklet.) This time, we attended the opening-night performance of The Color Purple (27 + medium walk) and–thanks to my friend Kelley–a post-show reception with the cast.

Turns out, we weren’t the only bus types at the fancy party.

Prince Metro
“Prince Metro,” enjoying the cocktails and conversation at Pacific Place

No disrespect to Northwest Center (an organization that makes it easy for car-free types to donate clothing and household items), but maybe the proceeds from the sale of this particular nutcracker should go to Metro.

Happy birthday, Chicklet!

In her first year of life, my child has ridden the following routes:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 21, 23, 25, 26, 27, 36, 41, 44, 48, 54, 55, 56, 60, 66, 70, 74, 134, 150, 174, 194, 230, 255, 358, 545, 550, 554, 590–not to mention the Monorail, Puyallup Fair shuttle, Elliott Bay Water Taxi, Detroit People Mover, Amtrak, Portland Streetcar, and a few Portland bus routes.

Chicklet at 50 weeks

How I know Chicklet is a true BCiT:

Yesterday, we met my friend Kelley and her baby daughter Evan for our weekly walk/lunch at Green Lake. After lunch, I took a credit card out of my wallet to pay our bill. Chicklet, in her custom of naming everything she sees, pointed at the card and announced (with great enthusiasm), “Buhpash!”*

And then there was this morning, when we three headed downtown on the 27 (eventual destination: Seattle Children’s Theater). As soon as we sat down, Chicklet reached for my bag. “Bik!”** she demanded. “Bik! Bik!”

Indeed.

Chicklet on Halloween
Our seasoned bus rider, celebrating Halloween at Daddy’s office (48 + 545) party

Translations:
*Bus pass
**Book

More good news on Third Avenue

Yesterday, the bus fam (that is, Chicklet, Nerd, and yours truly) hopped the 4 and headed to Seattle Center to attend a retro birthday party for my friend (and world-famous author) Sundee. Fellow natives of the 2-0-sickness: Remember back in the day, when the Center was the place to hang out in the summer (at 9: ferris wheel! at 13: cute boys!), and those rides and games at the Fun Forest seemed at least as good as Disneyland’s? My perspective has changed a bit since the 80s (about the Fun Forest and Disneyland), but I’m still sad that the park won’t be around for little Chicklet to enjoy.

I digress.

Instead of taking the 4 home from the festivities, we took the Monorail and transferred downtown, because, 1) I was in one of my nostalgic moods, 2) Chicklet had never ridden the Monorail, and 3) we wanted to save time. (The two-minute ride to Westlake beats any bus, and stopping downtown gave us the option of catching a faster route up the hill.)

We used our extra minutes to visit the new(ish) Kress supermarket on 3rd & Pike. I’ve been waiting for about a gazillion years for a grocery store to open downtown, and it was long past time for me to check it out. Plus, we were out of wine.

New downtown Kress
Picture
An escalator takes you from 3rd Ave. right to the produce section.

We get our produce (and a lot of other staples) from an organic delivery service, and we live within walking distance of a grocery store, so I won’t be using this Kress for major shopping trips. That said, it’s got a pretty good selection and reasonable prices. And since, like most transit types, I’m downtown a lot, I’ll certainly be using it for quick stock-ups (they carry my favorite crackers!) between transfers–and for grabbing something (chocolate) to share at a party.

Of course, as I learned on my very first visit, I’m not the only bus rider who appreciates the new Kress.

Picture
Captain, heading down to stock up on seafarin’ necessities

Captain finished shopping at the same time we did (which is to say, just in time to catch the 27), and all four of us enjoyed a speedy ride home with our purchases.

Westbound 27, 10:40 AM

Two twentysomethings are sitting in the back, discussing job prospects and financial woes.

Twentysomething woman: “I’ve been hitting up everyone I know that works at Sound Transit, asking them to hook me up with a bus pass. Just hook a girl up! They’re like, ‘dude, we’ll get fired.'”

[…]

Twentysomething man: “You should get, like, a whole bunch of old bus passes–from, like, way back–and sell them for like, five bucks… That’s just the kind of thing liberal douchebags would buy.”

Doin’ the Puyallup, bus-fam style

The last time I went to the Puyallup Fair was the summer before I left for college. I took my youngest brother, who was nine at the time, and I don’t remember much about it–except that it was my last chance to spend QT with my “baby” before I moved away from home and that the ride down there (in my dad‘s trusty Toyota pickup) was really long.

Today Chicklet, Nerd, and I did the Puyallup as a family (yes, I realize it doesn’t get much more lentement), and thanks to Pierce Transit, we did it our favorite way: on the bus.

Our itinerary:

1. 27 from home to Third & Seneca
2. 594 from Second & University to Tacoma Dome Station (This was our first time taking the 594. Talk about a comfortable ride!)
3. Pierce Transit’s Puyallup Fair Shuttle from Tacoma Dome Station to the fairgrounds (The shuttle also serves several other Pierce County locations.)

Total travel time, from front door to fair entrance: 1.5 hours (not much longer than driving, given the traffic, and we didn’t have to hassle with event traffic/parking)

Total cost, which included fare upgrades for my pass and Bus Nerd’s ticket on the shuttle: $3.00 (a heck of a lot cheaper than driving)

Waiting for Puyallup Fair shuttle
Waiting for our chariot
A view of the Mountain, from the PF shuttle
The view on the way there
Puyallup Fair bus parking
Bus parking at the fair
Chicklet napping in the Ergo
Chicklet’s version of a car nap

And speaking of cars…

Car stroller
These were available for rent at the fairgrounds
Cars for sale at the fair
And these were available for sale

Thanks to ST for the fast, comfortable ride to Tacoma and to PT for providing alt transpo to the event. We didn’t have any trouble or setbacks getting to and fro, so I don’t have any major complaints, but it certainly could have been easier to plan the trip. I had to use three different websites (ST’s, PT’s, and the PF’s) to find all the information I needed. (PT’s rider information line was the number listed for questions, but the office is closed Sundays.)

The fair wasn’t exactly my flavor (and not just because there was a car dealership in the middle of the grounds), but Chicklet certainly seemed to enjoy herself. She got to practice some of her favorite words–piggies!, cow!, kids!–and experience all kinds of new sights and sounds. For those of you who are interested in doing the same, the fair–and the shuttle–run until the 21st.