Tuesday, March 28, 2006

LINKS: Red Line Woes and Bulgarian Feta

Photo from the archives of Fur Cafe. No, the Red Line hasn't been that crowded this week, at least to my knowledge.

FOR TWO NIGHTS IN A ROW, I've been on Shady Grove-bound Red Line trains where one of the six cars has malfunctioned for some undetermined reason while the rest of the five are in service ... and overcrowded. Why one car breaks down while the rest are running just fine really isn't important here, but what is quite interesting is how people react to such situations.

As a train pulled into Metro Center Monday night, car No. 2 pulled up to the platform darkened and empty, two obvious signs that the car wouldn't be opening its doors. As everyone who had lined up to board car No. 2 moved to the first and third cars (including your friendly blogger), an old man in a trench coat was left behind. When the doors failed to open, he smacked the train car with his newspaper yelling: "Open up!"

When his voice request for Open Sesame failed, he looked down the platform toward the operator. He yelled down the platform, hoping the operator would magically open the doors. The train got crowded, of course, and then the train operator, as we pulled into the tunnel between Metro Center and Farragut North, he came over the public address system and scolded us passengers for failing "to utilize all the doors" and not moving to the center of the train cars. I thought that was a bit rude on the operator’s fault. When you have a hundred or so passengers lined up on a train platform and one train car is out of service, you are forced to cram through 15 doors instead of 18.
Additionally, when the center of train cars are already filled, you cannot move farther in.

Then this evening, while my train was stopped at Farragut North, the operator of my Red Line train announced that te first train car would be going out of service, the exact reason unexplained. I was in car No. 2 and one of my fellow riders asked how we were supposed to know what train car we were in. That's a good point. Not everyone notices what car they board. This becomes more of a problem if one of the middle train cars goes out of service. So there you go.

GOTHAMIST EDITOR JEN CHUNG has two loves in her life: Pandas and the late Jerry Orbach from NBC's "Law and Order." (picture from Gothamist's third birthday party). Well, now add a third: her new husband Jay. If you're one to look at The New York Times' wedding announcements, you might have spotted Jen an Jay in Sunday's paper. Congrats to the newlyweds.

FOR SOME URBAN PLANNING links: First, take a look at Kanishka's photos from Islamabad on his Flickr account. (And also read his account on driving in the Pakistani capital.) Ahh, planned world capitals.

Then, also take a look at this photo from blogger dl004d, who lives on 10th Street NW. It looks like life is springing from the once-souless heart of the old Washington Convention Center. I haven't been down to that corner of downtown in quite some time. I'm anxious to see the city's development plans for the site.

AFTER TWO BURGERS IN A ROW on Friday and Saturday, I've been eating considerably healthier (besides today's burrito for lunch.) I must say that Bulgarian feta and rice vinegar are two essential salad-building ingredients. Chop up some tomatoes, onions and cucumbers, cube some Bulgarian feta (which will deform into blobs of goat's milk product quite quickly) and dress with some olive oil, dill and rice vinegar. Let it stew in its juices overnight. Voila.

AND IF I'M NOT MISTAKEN, the Washington City Paper made history on Monday. Not because of its new City Desk blog (which is something I've been hoping they'd eventually develop ... it's about time.) but because on its first day in existence, it mentioned DCist, making it the last major local media operation to recognize the group blog's existence. I can't say I read the print edition from cover to cover every week, but I think I would have heard chattering that the City Paper mentioned DCist. Certainly, there were many things from our early days (when we were trying to figure out what the hell we were doing) they could have relentlessly mocked. To Erik Wemple and his crew on Champlain Street NW: welcome to local blogging. I look forward to linking to your content.

3 Comments:

At 11:05 AM, Blogger dl004d said...

I'm not sure a surface-area parking lot is a sign that "life is springing" at the old Convention Center site. Or not the long-term sign I'm hoping for anyway.

(But thanks for the plug to my blog.)

 
At 12:58 PM, Blogger Michael said...

In our automobile society, that is sign of life. If there were cherry blossom trees blooming on the convention center site, that may perhaps be more of a sign of life.

 
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