Tag Archives: Reviews

Buses on film

While we’re on the subject of transit and class, here’s a quick report on that Bus Riders Union documentary I went to see a few weeks ago:

The film basically focuses on the BRU‘s struggle to make the LA MTA more responsive to the needs of the poor and disabled, people who don’t have a choice about whether to ride. I am supportive of the organization’s goals (if not all of their tactics), but I found it unfortunate that they seemed to dwell on a (in my view, artificial) distinction between bus and rail. Apparently, the …

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Bus Pirates

Dave, of June Golden Transfer fame, sent me this insane video. It stops being funny after about the first 30 seconds, but, hey–it’s the weekend. You have time to waste.

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Pilgrims on a bus bound for glory

Get on the Bus (source: Amazon.com)Today marks the 10th anniversary of one of my all-time favorite movies, Spike Lee’s Get on the Bus.

For those who haven’t seen the film: It’s about a group of black men who travel (by bus, of course) from Los Angeles to Washington, DC to attend the Million Man March. (Today is also the 11th anniversary of the march.)

It’s no coincidence that Lee chose a bus (the most democratic of vehicles) as his characters’ mode of travel. The men come from varied …

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The bus driver who wanted to be God

Most bus riders know the joy of having built-in reading time, and this book-loving bus chick is no exception. I have my standard favorites (Morrison, Austen, Boyle, Senna, Durham, Smith), my list of “shoulds” (still haven’t gotten around to finishing Middlemarch), and my recommendations from friends (currently reading A Fine Balance, loaned to me by my friend Donna). Then, every once in a while, I’ll discover someone new on my own. This week, it’s Israeli writer Etgar Keret. Keret is not new to the literary scene (apparently, he’s been around …

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Kids, don’t try this at home

Google Transit (one of the projects from Google Labs) now provides trip planning services for King County Metro riders.

King County Metro Transit has partnered with Google in its implementation of an online transit trip planner that highlights Google’s map features. The Google Trip Planner uses Metro-generated data to find transit trips that are operated by Metro in King County.

Along with an itinerary based on their entries for point of origin and destination, people who use Google’s trip planner have access to a street map, a satellite image or a hybrid of the two in …

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Car-free living goes mainstream

Despite the large number of fabulous, active, interesting people who choose to be car-free, it is still considered an “alternative” lifestyle. We bus- and bike-dependent types are viewed as outside the mainstream: martyrs; angry, political types with something to prove; or die-hard environmentalists participating in “sustainability experiments.” Here’s the thing, though: Some people choose not to own cars out of good, old-fashioned, American self-interest.

I wrote an essay on the personal-benefit aspects of car-free living for this month’s issue of Seattle magazine. And then, a couple of weeks ago, I found an entire book on the subject. …

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And speaking of car culture…

My new second-favorite cartoonist (Aaron McGruder remains unchallenged at number one) is Andy Singer, author of the syndicated comic No Exit and of the (cleverly named) book, CARtoons. CARtoons addresses the negative impact of cars on American society (a subject that, despite its importance, has not heretofore resulted in many page-turners) in a humorous and easily digestible way. Interspersed with the (short) essays and facts and figures are anecdotes, interesting quotes, and lots and lots of Andy’s car-culture-critiquing cartoons. I posted one of them several weeks ago. Here’s another I really like:

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From a 7 to three sixes

Despite the fact that I am not a fan of advertisements or of horror flicks, I am totally digging Sound Transit’s creative new ad campaign. The ads, which I’ve seen on billboards and the sides of ST buses, show pictures of monsters and zombies, once-normal people who turned to the dark side after one too many hours in traffic. The slogans are reasonably clever pseudo horror movie titles, stuff like: It Came from Issaquah, Phantom of Tacoma, and The Creature from Edmonds.

Here’s the one that was on my bus home tonight:

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Speaking of love…

On Saturday, I received a surprise in the mail from my future mother-in-law (too cool for that title and so to be known henceforth as “my Gail”). My Gail lives in Detroit, a city that, despite plans for a fabulous new Rosa Parks Transit Center, is not known for its buses. It is, however, a city known for its cool t-shirts, and my Gail managed to find me the coolest one of all. It has a picture of a vintage 53, a route that travels the length of Woodward Avenue, one of the longest of Detroit’s very …

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A yoga studio combats carism

Yesterday I went to a lunchtime Yoga class at 8 Limbs with my friend Donna. A few hours before the class, I went to the 8 Limbs Web site, intending to find the street address of their Capitol Hill location and then use Trip Planner (or my fairly extensive knowledge of central city bus routes) to figure out to get there. Instead, I found that they had done the work for me by listing the bus routes that serviced each studio. (I can’t link directly to that page, but if you want to see it, go to

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