Taking the Metro Link to a Union Station Concert
Yesterday I took the metro for the first time in years. For those of you who were unaware, Los Angeles does, in fact, have a railway system. The new Expo line goes from Santa Monica all the way to Downtown LA. It's incredibly cheap ($1.75 one way--less for certain demographics) and, honestly, borderline free considering the security is virtually nonexistent and the "tap" cards don't always work. Woops. Traci and I decided to take the train to Union Station to see a free concert featuring the band Pr0files. I was really excited, one because I'm a child when it comes to trains, and two, because I always get stoked to try new things and take new photographs. The way there went pretty smoothly. It was almost too easy. We had to make one switch from the Expo line to the purple line, and it was a sinch. At Union Station, Pr0files rocked it and the setting was incredibly photogenic. Union Station is a blast from the past. (If you haven't noticed I seem to have a nostalgia for the past-specifically the times before I was even conceived).
Speaking of the past, taking the train reminded me of my travels in Buenos Aires, Argentina. While there, I took the subway almost every day to my volunteering project. Although the metro system in LA has a lot less beggars than Buenos Aires, there are still many homeless people who make their way onto the platforms and use the trains to lull them to sleep. It really depressed me. Both out of pity for them and for how awful I felt that they made me so uncomfortable. The amount of homeless and impoverished people living in this city is absurd. Many of them need serious medical attention. I wished I could help them somehow. But instead, I kept my distance. On the way back home, a woman was yelling at someone for "messing with her". She continually cursed at him and the whole train car went silent. There was no response to her yelling. You could feel the tension as everyone looked towards the direction of her voice. There were too many people standing in our car, blocking her from my view. My mind started racing. Was she kidding? Crazy? Is she dangerous? Should we get off? From the looks on other people's faces, they were considering the same thoughts. Then I thought, what if she did get violent? Would someone have stepped in? Psychologists say that the more people there are, the less likely anyone is to do anything to help. It's a very strange phenomenon. Thankfully, I didn't have to find that out. It did not escalate, and at some point she must have gotten off the train because everyone returned to normal. I thought about how some people had to make this trip every day. When you're driving around in your own car, you're safe in your little bubble. Or at least, seemingly so. Once we got back to our station we took a Lyft ride home. Our driver told us that he has picked up many people from the stations who were tired of waiting the forty-five plus minutes to fit onto a train car just to get home. Apparently the metro still has some kinks to work out during the work week. More cars and trains for one. And possibly some better security. Although I don't plan to take the train on the regular, I thoroughly enjoyed our little LA adventure. Here are the highlights.