Monday, August 11, 2008

Sunday Adventure

We love to explore, and I love to take my wife on adventures, especially when she hasn’t a clue.

Sunday, we had such an adventure.

I write because our adventure involved something important for Los Angeles. Something found in good cities around the world and here in the US of A.

Our adventure began with a quick drive to the LAX/Aviation Blvd. Station and a ride on the Green Line to the Imperial/Wilmington Station, the transfer point to the Blue Line. Then on to the city, enjoying the city landscape – homes and warehouses, stores and soccer fields; kids with their bikes and skate boards getting on the train to meet friends and check out one another; mothers with children – families out for the day - then arriving in downtown LA at the 7th Street and Figueroa Station.

We left the train and headed to the surface. Strolling past the famed No. 28 Fire Station, now a restaurant (Bill, remember our lunch there last August?), we made our way to the Westin Hotel, which much have been designed by the same architect who the did the Renaissance Center in Detroit, formerly a Westin Hotel and now GM Headquarters. After a drink and a hors d’oeuvre, we returned to the Station and got on to the Red Line to Universal City, at which point, my wife asked, “Are we getting off in Universal City?”

Along Hollywood Blvd., with station stops at Vine and Highland, we picked up speed to pass under the Santa Monica Mountains, to arrive quickly at the Universal City Station.

Across the street from the station, we boarded the free Shuttle to take us up the hill to Universal City. There, we strolled this bustling tourist attraction, hearing all kinds of languages and seeing the world in all of its relaxed delight. At every turn, a restaurant or a store – and children by the ton, with lots of giggles and smiles, and a few tears when Mom or Dad had to say No!

For dinner, we settled on the Hard Rock Café and a huge plate of Nachos. On the wall, a guitar from one of our favorite performers, Willie Nelson.

Satisfied and in high spirits, we retraced our steps back home.

Throughout our ride, stations were clean and folks friendly; cars well-kept, comfortable and mostly crowded. No doubt, thousands of folks use the trains, and likely more these days in view of oil prices.

I hope LA can expand the system, including the Subway to the Sea.

For thousands of people, public transportation is vital to their wellbeing, and I believe vital to the wellbeing of an entire metropolis. I think of the “L” in Chicago, the subways of New York City, Boston, Toronto and Washington D.C. where the poor and the wealthy “ride the rails” together every day.

Thanks LA – we had a great Sunday adventure.