Monday, July 20, 2009

If they can put a man on the moon...

...then they should be able to solve [insert social injustice or economic inequity here]. Yes, I celebrated the 40 year old anniversary of the first (staged?) moon landing by having a day of anti-gravity surreal proportions (mostly bad, small hellish bursts], but the highlight was finally getting chance to ride Seattle's own entrance into spage-age transportation... No, not the monorail, sadly - but the LightRail... Yes, finally - our 20th Century urban development has arrived - in the 21st Century Ladies and Gentlemen (applause, applause - ribbon cutting, fanfare, end scene).
Having lived above the tunnel boar-er for a good 5 years, I finally got to go from downtown to Mount Baker in less than 20 minutes flat. I can't tell you how gratifying that was. No stops on every other block. No (intentionally) having to knock elderly grandmother's out of my way to get out the back door. Pleasant arrivals, chimes and a friendly voice advising you where to exit.
The stations are cute in that playful NW post-millenial-design and art-commissioned kind of way - the Beacon station has gleeful sea creatures and Bill Bell's subliminal art in the tunnels is kinda cool (and I realized that one benefit of having the downtown bus tunnels all this time is that the art and design from late 80's makes it all seem like we've had light rail all along for the last 20 years). What made the trip? Having a car full of small children who were loving every minute of the ride and kept reminding us how, even though it's a mid-century too late, our eagle has landed... (PS - photo of my metrocard for proof of concept).