Sunday, January 16, 2011

Got the Feel for the Wheel

We live in the almost-Rhode Island part of Connecticut as opposed to the Gold Coast piece of the state which has tried repeatedly to elbow Staten Island out of its position as one of the five boroughs of New York City. Our downstate brethren have Stew Leonard's, gluten-free polo ponies, the private cell phones of vegan Beemer mechanics on their speed dial and dozens of rapid rail connections into Manhattan every day of the week. We country mice have a vacant storefront where Kresge's used to be, huntin' dogs as big as horses, a buddy who works at Tractor Supply Company and Southeast Area Transit, SEAT.

I'm not jealous; okay, maybe a little. If there really is reincarnation, I'm aiming for jodhpurs and a home in Belle Haven. I've already cased the Metro North platforms for a cool place to stand while reading the WSJ on my Kindle until my backgammon partner arrives for the ride into The City. Around these parts, I'm styling if I own my bowling shoes. Not that I'd wear them on a SEAT bus, at least not on the schedules they're got now.

If you rely on mass transit this side of the Connecticut River, especially if you live beyond the Thames (pronounced like 'thame thit, different day') make like John Alden, call Mayflower and move, pilgrim. I really do miss real bus and rail lines, no more than when I watch a SEAT bus pass me with next to no one in it, or am riding one because my car is being repaired and I need to allow for three hours to make connections in both directions for a ten mile ride. It's almost faster to walk until cash-starved Connecticut comes up with pay sidewalks and then you'll need an EZ pass for your Uggs.

If we in Southeastern Connecticut were to push mass transit to its limit, what might we have? Bullet Trains named Desire? The energy-efficient locomotive that opted not to? Where does it end, Watty? Maybe in Detroit on Tim Carpenter's lap. You cannot make this stuff up. Tell me you don't love "There's probably not a transportation worker in this country that hasn't made a judgement call that might not have been right at that particular time." Talk about putting the ride in ridership. Is that a shifter in your hand or are you just really happy to see me? Remember, wait until we reach your stop to get off.
-bill kenny

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