Recently in trains Category

Doom Trains!

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I really love passenger trains. I love big cross-country trains, commuter rail, and urban trains. I have a particular fondness for traveling via subway, when I'm in a city that has one. So I was grimly fascinated by A Short History of Death on the New York City Subway, which highlights a little over a century of underground tragedies in the MTA.

The loss of life is sad, especially when it could have been prevented. At the same time, it is morbidly interesting. And not all of the stories end in death:

1965 Power Failure

In November 1965, 800,000 people were stranded for six hours in dark subway tunnels. Transit police walked people out along the tracks while warming them with emergency blankets. There are no recorded deaths, but how freaky would that be?

I'm also fond of the little Flash-animated train that makes its way down the page as you scroll.



This grand old post office building is going to be transformed into Moynihan Station, an expansion of Penn Station. In the meantime, a lot of it is currently vacant.

Open House New York allowed Scout, the blogger of Scouting New York to tour and photograph the facilities. The result is a really interesting photo series.

I'd love a chance to look around there myself, but alas....too far away. However, I really love looking at these photos.



Miss Match Week 10: Travel

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Floating Evening

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And now, a brief break from Film Fest talk to write about how I spent my Sunday and Monday.

I've been following along with the pre-production of Lineline Theater's upcoming stage adaptation of Neverwhere. So, when I heard that they would be doing an actual Floating Market for their annual benefit event and where looking for volunteers to help *be* the market, I signed right up. How could I miss something like that? I've been missing the "Below" since the end of Boston Between the Cracks.

Sunday afternoon, I drove down to Crystal Lake, IL where I parked my car and hopped the Metra the rest of the way to Chicago. (Have I mentioned lately how much I love riding trains?) There was a rehearsal/costume parade for all the volunteers at Lifeline's space from 3:00 to about 6:00. While there, I got a rough preview of what the set is going to look like, and I must say, I'm impressed.

Following the rehearsal, I took the CTA towards Grant Park, to find the friend I was going to stay with for the night. I was already regretting that I decided that my combat boots were too bulky to carry and that I couldn't fit a spare pair of shoes in my pack. Ow.

One delicious Thai dinner later and both of us were pretty much ready to crash for the night.

I had to work on Monday, but had gotten clearance to do so remotely. (Have I mentioned how weird it is to use my PC desktop from a Mac? Always have to remember to avoid keyboard commands.) This made it a day of wi-fi surfing via three different coffeeshops. And more walking. Oh, the walking. (Did I mention those damn boots?)

The day was gorgeous, and many picturesque opportunities presented themselves, but I weighed the originality of any of the possible photos vs. the amount of stuff I was lugging around with me and decided that none of them were worth the effort. Sometime, I'll make a trip just for photos.

Evening came and it was time to ascend to the 4th floor of the Chicago Cultural Center and get ready for the event. Luckily, I did have time to run around and take some quick photos of some of the people and the place. There were a number of people and things that I never got a chance to capture on film, and the overall quality of what I shot was very snapshotty, but it did make bringing the Canon worthwhile.

The event ran from 6:30 to 10 PM, but it rather flew by. There were some scripted elements, including a bit of stage fighting ("bodyguard auditions"). There were performances by The Space/Movement Project, The Afterlife, Read My Hips, Pyrotechniq, The Tubeway Rats, and The Beat. A couple of fortune tellers, a storyteller, and a caricaturist plied their trades while "Captain Destiny" encouraged folks to spin the "Wheel of Destiny" to win prizes. Meanwhile, the denizens of the Floating Market interacted with the patrons and exhorted them to bid on silent auction items. Everyone ate, drank, and were quite merry.

And then the Market was over and it was time to go home. At which point I discovered that I'd lost my socks somewhere. This was a bummer, as they were a pair of a really nice wool overknees. Alas! Fortunately, I still had the socks I'd worn in character, so I didn't have to go sockless in my boots. (Did I mention those boots?) Unfortunately, looking for them took time I didn't have, and I suddenly had 14 minutes to walk about a least a 17 minute trek, according to Google maps. Fortunately, a couple of fellow Denizens were leaving as I was and offered me a ride to the station. Hurray! I made the train just in time.

The ride to Crystal Lake was pleasant. The drive to Madison was a little less so, given that it was after midnight by the time I started driving. I got through with McDonald's coffee and BBC World News on NPR, plus a lot of opening windows and sitting forward. Also, my "check engine" light came on, which could be meaningless but gave an edge of stress to the proceedings. I can haz Madison-Chicago trane, plz? Thx.

All in all, it was a tiring journey, but well worth it. I can hardly wait to see the actual show when it opens.



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