Friday, April 1, 2011

The Red Train



This is an indirect response to my friend Dean's excellent article on riding the Los Angeles subway.  My life seems to parallel Dean's in a few ways - I'm in exile from show business, I live in North Hollywood, I work downtown and I commute on the red line every day.  That's really not as remarkable a coincidence as it sounds - the subway is only useful to those who live in North Hollywood and work downtown.  Or go the other way.  MOST of the time, I'm happy not to be stuck in traffic.  Some of the time, fuck, I'm on the subway.

Here are a couple of things to know about the LA subway:

1)  There are currently two lines - the Red and the Purple.  The Red Line goes from North Hollywood to Union Station (downtown).  The Purple Line goes two stops - to Wilshire & Western.  And... that's it.

2) It runs on the honor system.  NO ONE works there.  No ticket sellers, rare appearances by law enforcement.  Every six months or so they do a ticket sweep.  If you get caught without a ticket in your pocket it could set you back like $275.  Surprisingly, they rarely seem to catch anyone.

3) I almost always sit in the last car because there are less people there.  The less people the better.

4) Sometimes people talk to you - crazy people, panhandlers, insane people... that's when it seems I'm really paying the price for not being in a private car.

Dean says he see me once on the subway.  It was 5:30am, I probably wouldn't have gotten up and said anything to him either.  Sure beats the bus, though, right?