Tag Archives: People

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!”


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

*Bus pass

A mobile memorial

Andrew from Sound Transit sent me this Guardian article, about a unique tribute to executed Nigerian activist Ken Saro-Wiwa.

Chief among these “first martyrs” was Ken Saro-Wiwa, the Nigerian journalist and novelist who spearheaded a massive campaign against oil corporations and the Nigerian government, accusing both of waging an ecological war against the Ogoni people of the Niger Delta. …

Last year, to mark the 10th anniversary of Saro-Wiwa’s execution, Platform, together with Amnesty International, the Arts Council and Greenpeace, launched a competition, asking artists to come up with proposals for a Saro-Wiwa memorial. The winner was Nigerian-born sculptor Sokari Douglas Camp, whose “mobile memorial” takes the form of a giant bus …

The bus was chosen deliberately, as a complex symbol of many of the things Saro-Wiwa stood for–and against.

“I think transport is an important feature in environmental debate,” she says. “The poorer world is always trying to catch up with the west in transporting goods. I wanted a spectacle of some kind, one of those vehicles, stacked precariously with all the goods they can carry. It will be fantastic to see it in a London street.”

To see pictures of the bus memorial and hear commentary by the artist, check out this slideshow.

Speaking of children on buses…

June This is June. June is a bus chick in training. June’s regular route is the 21, but in her four months on this earth, she has ridden on several others, including the 10, 43, 54, and 55. In a couple of years, June will learn to ring the bell when she’s ready to get off. A few years after that, she’ll learn when and how much to pay, and how to keep track of her transfer. Finally, after she has mastered these skills, been advised about talking to strangers, and memorized her address, she will be allowed to ride by herself–not too far, and not for too long, but alone. On this day, she will join the worldwide sisterhood of bus chicks. Hopefully by then I will have figured out what to do for an initiation ceremony.

Lily and June
June with her mom Lily, a full-fledged bus chick
And again

School bus

Yesterday marked the first day of classes at the UW School of Dentistry, and with it, this man’s return to the bus:

A handsome bus riderMy youngest brother Joel, a brilliant, handsome, six-foot-four inch, iron-pumping, soccer-playing, second-year dental student, is also a bus rider. (Yes, I do know all the good-looking dentists–and dentists to be–in Seattle.) Joel’s not a full-time bus nerd or (necessarily) a transit advocate, but he is smart enough to know a good deal when he sees one. Instead of fighting traffic from West Seattle to the U District and paying for gas and parking, he pays a small fee ($44 per semester) for a U-PASS and leaves the driving to Metro. On his rides, he studies, naps, or catches up with people he doesn’t have time to talk to in the course of his busy-dental-student days.

Joelie with teeth
The future Dr. Saulter, with denture-shaped salt and pepper shakers

Fellow bus chicks: If you want to catch a glimpse of this handsome rider, hop on the eastbound 55, or any of the northbound 70-somethings (he takes whichever one comes first) at the crack of dawn or the same routes (going south and west) late in the evening. You might even see him sporting one of those sexy bus rider t-shirts we talked about in the spring. When I finally get them printed, he’s agreed to be one of my models.

Busfather: alone at the top

Mr. Fabre (aka Busfather) on a northbound 48

For the first few months of John Fabre’s reign as Operator of the Year, he shared the title with last year’s OOY, David Alexander (something about a late announcement in 2005). This month, the title became John’s alone, and as a result, you can finally see his picture on buses. OK, so maybe I was the only one looking for it, but still.

One bus I’ll be glad to miss

Jerome “the Bus” Bettis, Seahawk destroyer

Yes indeed, ladies and gentleman, the NFL preseason has begun, sans Pittsburgh’s “Bus.” Just for fun, I went to the Allegheny County Port Authority site to see if the city has a real #36. In fact, it has four:

36 A: Mount Lebanon-Banksville
36 B: Virginia Manor
36 C: Green Tree
36 D: Westwood

Don’t ask me why they name their routes like bra sizes instead of just using different numbers. I guess Pittsburgh can’t have everything.

Take the 7 to travel back in time

Most people hate going to the dentist, but I always look forward to it. Of course, this is probably not a surprise to the people who know me, since my preferences trend outside the mainstream. (My brother Jeremy once said to me, “Carla, your ‘cute’ is everyone else’s ‘daaaaaaaaaaaaang’!”) In this case, though, I have a good reason to like my dentist: She is also my friend.

I’ve known Kelley since I was six years old, back when her father was my dentist and she and I were first-grade classmates. Back in the day, I liked going to her father’s office (now her office) because there was a TV with cable in the waiting room, and I could watch videos. These days, I like going because I get a chance to catch up with my girl. So yesterday, I hopped on the 7 and headed down to Kelley’s clinic.

First grade friends
To my left: the fabulous dentist herself. To my right: another fabulous friend from first grade.

The best thing about the 7 is that there’s always one coming. No need to check a schedule; just head to a stop, and you’re almost guaranteed to be on one within 10 minutes. This level of frequency is infuriating when you’re waiting for another bus–when you might see four 7s (and about 400 36s) before you see yours–so it’s nice to be able to take advantage once in a while. The worst thing about the 7 is the old-school style of coach that usually runs that route. These are the same buses I rode when I was a kid–in fact, I think they were around back when I first met Kelley–and while I’m all for Metro getting our tax dollars’ worth out of the vehicles that are still running, I can’t say I enjoy the ride. In fact when I’m on a 7, I can’t really say anything; those dang things are much too loud for conversation. ;)

Speaking of bus drivers

Uncle SamThe big-haired, Shazza-lookin’ guy at the wheel during our handoff was definitely a candidate for the “Sexiest Driver” award. And while I’m at it, I’ve seen a few other sexy driver types this month:
• Midday on a Saturday: a lovely young woman (possibly a former shampoo model) handling her business on the northbound 48. (Can you tell I’m a fan of hair?)
• Friday afternoon: a super-fit muscleman piloting the westbound 55. Thank God Metro issues a shorts uniform.