In the Bus Bag
Unaccustomed Earth, by Jhumpa Lahiri
Tag Archives: Real Change
Car free but like to party? Some tips from last week’s Real Change column:
A few weeks ago, you learned how to look fabulous while riding the bus. Now, let’s explore how to take your fabulous self out for the evening.
If you’ve followed the first rule of car-free living — move to a transit-friendly neighborhood, preferably close to downtown — you’ll find plenty of options for eating, drinking, dancing, watching, listening, and meeting a short walk or bus ride from your home. With no car to worry about, you can hop on …
After Friday’s storm, I’ve had enough excitement for the season. For those still looking for a thrill: I provided some suggestions for getting to the higher elevations without a car in this week’s Real Change column. (Thanks to Laura from Bellevue for the tips.) Winter sports aren’t really my “thing” (plus, I have word count limits), so please let me know if I missed any good options.
A Bus to the Pass
I have to admit it: I’m not much of a winter sports fan. My first clue that snow-related activities weren’t for me …
For you holiday shoppers, last week’s Real Change column:
Ah, the holiday season: the time of year when we gather with family, give thanks for our blessings, and spend as much money as humanly possible. What better time to review my bus-chick-tested shopping tips?
Tip 1: Buy less. The simplest and most effective way to avoid the hassle of shopping without a car is to stop shopping so doggone much. Your decision to try life as a bus chick means you’re probably interested in conserving — your money, the world’s resources, or both — and …
A new report from the Washington-based Center for Housing Policy finds that in major metropolitan regions around the country, the money you save on housing by moving away from the city is about the same amount you will spend on additional transportation costs.
Frequently, families that move away from cities such as San Francisco fail to prepare for the high cost of the car culture they enter. “Transportation means not only going to work, but if you’re living in one of the outlying suburbs, it means you need a car to …
I’m heading out to a party tonight (27+28), despite the fact that I’ve been under the weather since Monday. (Red wine might be just the medicine I need.) In honor, last week’s Real Change column:
I have great empathy for my fellow Seattleites who are struggling to shake their addiction to cars. I know quite well how difficult it is to kick a powerful habit. How? Because, dear readers, I, too, struggle with an addiction — to my flat iron.
That perfectly smooth, bone-straight look I’m rockin’ in the picture next to my byline? That look required …
Here are some I compiled for my August 9th Real Change column:
Monday evening, northbound 48:
A woman and man in the seats across from me are getting to know each other.
Woman: “Oh, my God, you’re funny.” [short pause] “Take me home with you.”
Woman: “You got a wife?”
Woman: “Then take me home with you.” [another short pause] “I’ll cut your hair.”
Tuesday evening, westbound 545:
A man and two women, probably coworkers, are making small talk on their commute home from work.
Last week, Laura from Eastlake sent me this note:
You often talk about Smooth Jazz and I must admit that I have been jealous. I would LOVE for the ride home to be to some music. So I thought I would send you a quick email to tell you about a great driver I had the other day coming home. It was on Wednesday night on the 70 at about 6pm. The bus driver sang a song to the entire bus about “humoring your bus driver so he doesn’t leave you at your stop while waiting.” It was really funny, …
If you’re a person who actually likes “how we met” stories, you can read Bus Nerd’s and mine in my latest Real Change column.
I know it will be hard not to have anything bus-related to read for an entire week, so the rest of you can talk among yourselves. I’m hoping to return to lots of fabulous and thought-provoking comments.
Real Change recently interviewed Anthony Flint, author of This Land: The Battle over Sprawl and the Future of America. Here are some excerpts from the discussion:
Real Change: What are the effects of sprawl on the environment?
Twenty-five million acres of land between 1982 and 1997 succumbed to suburban development. That is a lot of wildlife habitat [and] farmland that has disappeared. It is a lot of pollution from cars, which are necessary to get around in these dispersed environments, though it has not been enough to change anybody’s mind about sprawl until …
• Refusing to move to the back, despite the fact that the bus was beyond capacity, and there were at least three empty seats back there.
• Eating smelly meals from styrofoam takeout containers (this is not just a bus foul–it’s against Metro’s rules).
• Turning up headphones, as loud as they would go, not placing them near any actual ears, and then chair dancing all over everyone in …