Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Mind-bending, face-melting

This is going to sound terribly nerdy - there are few things that make me as happy as this map. We seem to have won the transity jackpot, my friends. 

This week I have been spending a lot of time telling people about the SAINT PAUL OF THE FUTURE [outer space voice]. SPOTF is a place where I can get to Bead Monkey or Seward co-op or Highland on one bus. One bus! These bus improvements have been a bit of a Central Corridor dark horse for me - who knew that we'd save so much from the 16 & 94 that we'd be able to plow it into obscene* amounts of service? I have ridden transit despite the crummy transfers and the 30 minute headways at rush hour. Soon, I'll be able to ride transit because it's easy. Easy? Whoa.

Equally mind-bending is this travel time chart from the same open house last week, where I confirmed that the train will cut fifteen minutes off my 50 bus commute. Fifteen minutes. Each way. Holy bananas.

What am I going to do with an extra half hour every day? Loosely translated, I could hit about five more snooze buttons, or actually make dinner before I get too hungry and just eat popcorn.

Or, I could for-reals learn to knit and (yarn) bomb things.

Or, I could play with circuits. On way home last week, I stopped by this interactive pop-up studio next The Edge. 

The friendly duo, Beatrix*Jar, had created a workshop of rewired toys. Think Axman meets Toy Story meets electronic music. Brilliant.

Beatrix*Jar from mn original on Vimeo.

Yes, I think playing with some face-melting robot keyboards could be the perfect way to spend my newfound time!

*Obscene by East Metro Standards.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Location: 50 bus

This is really happening, people


Some days I just have to say that out loud.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Stuck in the middle with you


1. I have zero tolerance for people that smoke. (If we banned smoking at bars and restaurants, how hard could it be to ban it at bus stops?)

2. I go to great lengths to avoid sitting by smokers on the bus - that includes taking the 16 when I see them get on the 50, and making sure I am the last one to board the bus as to maximize seating distance, and getting off a stop or two early if it means a little more fresh air.

3. If you are carrying a cigarette that is partially used, you will make the whole bus stink. Contrary to popular belief, you can't snuff out something that was just on fire, and then get into a confined space with 40 people. More reasons why we should ban smoking at the bus stop.

This morning I was caught off guard by an unusually full 50 bus - of course, old Smokey McSmokes decided to sit right next to me. Panic ensued. I fumbled awkwardly with the sliding window that was behind my seat. Fail. I held my breath a couple seconds and then tried again. Big effort this time, flailing around to use both hands. Smokey looked at me awkwardly and I gave him the panicked face. Recognizing me as the crazy person on the bus, he quickly switched seats. Sometimes subtlety is overrated.

Speaking of things that aren't so subtle - cough - the bollards and chain for the intertrack fence finally went up. I can honestly say it's everything I thought it would be - which is to say, I'm still not a fan.

Fences are meant to keep people in or to keep people out, right? This one does neither. Somehow I feel that will be its downfall.

And as long as we're stuck in the middle, er, median, I'd like to point out what happens when you get 800 inches of rain in a month. What used to be a gravel placeholder for our median planting area has become a lush forest of volunteers.

The good news is, something is able to live in the middle of University Avenue. I've never been so happy to see a pile of weeds.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, June 11, 2012

Give me a sign

Forget a case of the Mondays - I've had a pretty crummy week. So by the time I got home today, I needed more than a lift. I needed a sign.

I got two.

The great thing about this project is that these major, mind-blowing things happen on the days I least expect them. As a side note, the "St." Paul looks awfully casual. Who let the Minneapolitans order the signage? Is that how they think we spell it?

I'm also warming up to the army green that they recently painted our station. I had kind of hoped all the stations were going to be a more neutral color (even the same color, boring and practical as it is), but this green and copper duo is already starting to blend in a little for me.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Best and Worst of the Week(s)

Let's face it, I'm a terrible blogger. I've let real life (gasp!) get in the way of me blabbing on about construction this spring. Well, I have a good excuse.

I'm tired of construction. Is there no rest for the weary? But, I haven't stopped taking photos, I just haven't written about them. So let's look way way back at the month of May.

Best: Trash cans. The most beautiful trash can I've ever seen. The new fleet is in (and for a while was shacking up with the old ones). The hubby was pretty embarrassed that I stopped to take this photo. That did not deter me, obviously. The old trash cans are gone now, so it's kinda epic that I have this little piece of history recorded, right?

Worst: KSTP investigates if people prefer traffic. So, I-94 is closed and University is down to one lane. If they talk to people sitting at a stoplight, will say waiting in traffic is A) annoying? or B) the most amazing thing they've ever done? What a scoop! What brave journalism! Eyewitness News investigates...10 feet in front of their studios.

Best: Trees. Yes, I've mentioned it before, but the more that go in, the more obsessed I am.

Worst: Intertrack fence. That is what that is, right? I just have never been into it.

Best: The Bacon Trolley. This new food truck is just pandering to me. Pork and trolleys? Yes, please.

Worst: People not knowing how to use a "T" intersection. Because Berry Street does not go through, drivers seem to have lost all logic for how to use this half-intersection. This gentleman is stopped at a red light. In the far side of the intersection. In the crosswalk. Yeah, you better believe I'm taking your picture!

Best: West Bank station. I don't know if it's the best, but it sure is the biggest. You might say we're buying a Stairway to Heaven. Or something.

Worst: Bus wrapping. I get it, I just don't like it. (Can anyone name this location?)

Best: When you actually get the cushy bus with the spot that holds groceries, AND the seat next to it! This never happens. Sometimes bus karma pays back in wonderful ways.

Worst: Crosswalk tape. I am donating a straight edge and a pencil to Walsh.

Best: Non-confrontational signage. I'll take it! Although I'd still like to purchase the "Blight Rail" sign that used to hang in this spot.

Worst: Parking on the guideway at the Farmers Market. I had a small heart attack, but I am going to have to get over this, at least long enough to shop for produce without hyperventilating.

Best: Tickets! Knowing where to tap the card is of the utmost importance.

Worst: Tagging on my new sidewalk. I suppose if I call the city on them, they'll say it's for construction or something. I've just never been so protective of concrete.

Best: Slabs at 4th and Cedar. I think that train might just come through here after all!

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