Showing posts with label streetcar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label streetcar. Show all posts

7.5.15

Photograph: "Somewhere in San Francisco in 2008"

A loading dock on a side street in San Francisco
San Francisco 2008 (Somewhere Along the Cable Car Line)

Taking a photograph from the San Francisco cable car, the streets look slanted. It's queer how in San Francisco you can stand up straight and still appear to be tilting sideways.

16.6.10

June Streetcar Ride on Carrollton

Folks here call the Carrollton neighborhood of New Orleans, Kar•ul•ton, a tract of land that extends from a bend in the river where Saint Charles avenue and S. Carrollton avenue meet.

For me, it has been home for the past two years.
I got on the car at Willow today, near the Nix branch of the New Orleans Public Library, God I love that small municipal library with few books but tons of character. I'd work here.

There were only three riders today on the Saint Charles Streetcar, so I sat at the back. The conductor's seat is located in both the front and the back of the car.
Conductor's seat inside the Saint Charles Streetcar in New Orleans
That way, the conductor can easily switch places without turning the car around when he gets to the end of the line.

Summertime is New Orleans's downtime. Everyone's at the corner pub downing a bitter IPA or a soft Magnolia lager known to be pretty damn tasty.

9.5.10

On the Saint Charles Streetcar at Broadway (in New Orleans)

A guy and his bud scream, "Who dat" in five minute increments.

Ummmm.

Enough already?


21.3.10

NOLA: Saint Charles Streetcar at Nashville

Passenger Peering
Streetcar Seat Slats
Groovy Grounds

19.2.10

Sparkling New Streetcar Line on Loyola Avenue in New Orleans


Photo: wallyg
According to Frank Donze, reporting for the Times-Picayune, The Obama Administration approved stimulus money earmarked to construct a new transit line in the city of New Orleans. The city was awarded $45 million to erect the new streetcar line that will run from the Union Passenger Terminal on Loyola Avenue and end on Canal Street, a 1.5 mile stretch. Other routes had been considered by the administration, including a corridor along N. Rampart Street and a line stretching along Convention Center Boulevard (which are still in the works), but in the end, the Regional Transit Authority won the Loyola bid. A stipulation of the money was to enhance existing transit systems in an American city and to provide a connection to existing transit systems, so the New Orleans project seemed to have won the favor of the grant givers, winning out over 30 other cities. The city desperately needs a creative boost to its public transportation system and I am very happy the Federal money was won. RTA has until May 2012 to finish the project. So, wake up New Orleans and get your laissez-faire attitude up a notch.

6.2.10

A Mardi Gras Prosody: "The Night that Precedes Chaos"

I only had a twenty. Bought a coffee at Camellia grill. Got some change. Holla. Were the elections today?
A still photograph of a full cup of black coffee (with a torn sweet and low on the saucer)
Getting on a streetcar can only bring one as far as Napoleon avenue; every Carnival goer without a car knows that!
Chancellor Karla takes a ride on the New Orleans Streetcar (interior)
Here we go. The only information I don't have is the route. Saint Charles is blocked. We get off the streetcar. We're taking Freret street.
Chancellor Karla takes a ride on the New Orleans Streetcar (interior)
We are on La Salle/Simon Bolivar now, to Jackson avenue, to turn on Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
A view in front of a Saint Charles Avenue Mansion Lit Up at Night (exterior)
I think we're on Loyola. Will be at Canal in no time. A handsome time to let loose. Now all I have to do is find Taryn.
Faye Maurin enjoys a candid shot at a local restaurant in New Orleans on New Years Day

10.1.10

NOLA: Saint Charles Streetcar at Freret Street

Taking the Saint Charles Avenue streetcar from my house to a birthday party, I make a few observations along the way.
A street sign at the entrance to the New Orleans French Quarter prohibits the use of cellphones
Winter in New Orleans is Stupid Cold, Ya Heard?       
      28 degrees in New Orleans is as cold as -6 degrees in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Most of us have opted to stay at home. Usually, on a Sunday afternoon, the streetcar is softly filled with tourists making their way past Saint Charles's homes and oak-lined streets. Not today, Satan.
Taking the Streetcar To Attend A Birthday Party
     I am on my way to a birthday party on Saint Louis street. It is a surprise party. I may be late. Punctuality has never been a well-groomed commodity of mine.
     A young couple reverts their seats so they can look at each other and converse. Otherwise, the car is quiet.
The Hum of the Streetcar is My Anodyne for Anxiety
     It never seems to bother me, the contemplative nature of public transportation. If only I can always look and feel while I travel. The back of the car is the front and the front is the back. I tend to migrate to the back and look out as the scenery moves into the past.

1.1.10

Eavesdropping on the Saint Charles Streetcar at Common

    Waiting in the cold morning after a New Year's Eve out! The pavement is moist with the evening's fodder. A brazen, foolish girl prances towards downtown barefoot as a foolish boy admonishes her. Twelve of us wait for the 4:15. Multiple taxis vrooom by. One stops. A couple gets in, frustrated with waiting. A group of handsome guys on my left banter in a language I can't detect.

Goings-On on the Streetcar at the Riverbend in New Orleans, Louisiana

I did not have to pay a fare for the streetcar this evening; apparently, the ticket kiosk was broken. What an odd, egalitarian way to herald in the new year. The car is characteristically loud and obnoxious; slightly drunk 20 and 30 somethings.

PDF Copy for Printing

14.12.09

Commuting to Work: Saint Charles Streetcar at Rosa Park

In this post, I talk about commuting to work on the Saint Charles Avenue streetcar.
-everyday that i commute to work on the saint charles streetcar i take a photo. /-)

today was especially foggy; wet; the streets are still soiled from saturday's rain; poseidon licked his lichen lips to the city's dirty pits.

27.12.04

Meditations Aboard the Saint Charles Streetcar

On Carrollton and Claiborne the Streetcar begins about three blocks from Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans.
The streetcar that I ride is classic Christmas green with brown edging. Usually once a week I’ll walk down to the streetcar stop to take a ride. My destinations vary. Yesterday I took the streetcar to visit a High School religion class on Saint Charles Avenue. I spoke to all four classes and at the end of the day got back on the streetcar, a train that does not care about race or sexuality, education or gender. We all sit in the same car (thanks to Rosa Parks) and commence on our respective journeys.  One little girl about as tall as my knee told her girlfriend how she couldn’t wait to get home to eat cornflakes, take a hot bath and get a nap in before her momma got home. On another day, the driver spoke to me about the Presidential elections. He was very passionate about his election choice, warning me about the next four years. I thanked him for his observations and got off at the Latter Library. Another time some tourists in front of me were murmuring about how loud it was and how they should have stayed at the hotel to take a nap. I sat on the seat clutching my bookbag, protecting my laptop so it wouldn’t fall. Streetcars are bumpy, you know. The benches are hard so your body feels every movement, every shock of electricity. The lights will dim off and on near Carrollton and Willow. No one announces the stops. You just have to know. There are no maps in the car, just the signs from the windows. As I ride along, I watch the people get on and off and sometimes I hear the driver announce the next stop. She’ll even announce a good place to eat if you listen. This is journey. I’ve learned you have to listen if you want to reach some kind of spiritual maturity. It is a spiritual journey because it is humanity gathered together  I see it as nearly as I see my own hand typing these words. It is humanity in the fullest sense, an existential snapshot of the human condition right there on Carrollton and Claiborne.
If you liked this post about New Orleans — read more in my book
Things I Probably Shouldn't Have Said (And Other Faux Pas).
On the streetcar you see lots of things out of your window. Low-economic housing and a few blocks away on the same street, huge Garden District mansions, College campuses, zoos, and parks.  Pedestrians and bikers. I was translating Ancient Greek at the car stop one afternoon and was yelled at by college guys in a red truck. They called me a freakin’ queer. I had my back turned to the street, sitting on the concrete with a book bag, an open Greek book and two stacked notebooks by my leg.  I heard their taunts and whipped my head around.   I didn’t say anything, just heard their jeers and saw their contorted faces. A jolt of anger ran through me.  Who were these boys to lash out at me because of their own insecurity? Do we live in a world where it is insane to read? Where reading is queer, different, out of touch? Sometimes in this journey, I feel like I live in a dystopia.  It is then that I feel lost and discouraged, reluctant to take the ascent to a newer level. I become despondent and alone, jaded about the world around me and discontent with the state of affairs. I fail to see the possibility of spiritual ascent.  All the ladders seem broken, all the paths are one-way streets. I envy Jacob and his ladder. The vision of angels descending and ascending. Spiritual life is in the midst of the urban jungle. There is a world pulsing at every moment. But, I can stop on a street corner and take a deep breath of acrid air, sigh, lift my hands high and thank God for his many gifts. I thank God for how he has blessed me.  I say a small prayer on the earth that I stand, no matter where I stand. I whisper prayers to myself as the car rumbles.  I can hear the electric lines above snapping and recoiling, their vicious dance apparent as we roll down the oak-lined street. I think of the ladder of ascent. I pray to God to illumine my eyes, to soften my heart and to open “the ears of my heart”. These are not stages. I am not on the journey one day, and then on the next, ascending the spiritual ladder. At the end of the day, I do not suddenly become mature in my faith. The journey is continuous. Whether it be here in New Orleans or back home, whether in the motions of my heart and mind or in the paths of my friendships and loves, in the intimate whispers of my prayers to God. Maturity is marked along the path.  Sometimes without a street map handy to guide the way. Off the cuff and without warning I have to be Father to someone in need, and just as unrehearsed I have to be nurturing mother. The reality of father is new to me.  The reality of son is a comfortable role for me. I notice that I am being called to spiritual fatherhood. I sense that this is an important step in my spiritual journey. I am nurturing mother in the way that I care for the elderly in my community and my family. The opportunities for maturity are there, surely, I just do not always apprehend them as I should. Because I am lackadaisical and unaware of the possibilities around me to grow in my faith.  I certainly have the knowledge.  I certainly have the brain. But as my mother has told me in the past, I do not always have the heart. Sometimes my heart says things I do not know how to articulate.  Sometimes I am at the end of the streetcar line and I have to get off. The outside wind is often cold and the ground is hard on my feet. I have a few quarters in my pocket, not enough to take the bus.

So, I walk, meditating again in the urban jungle.  Suffice it to say I am on a journey, a mediocre journey (I have come to terms with my own mediocrity long ago) and not always sure where the road will lead. I am okay with only having questions.  I am not so naive, or vain, or prideful (thank god) that I need answers. I am a seeker. That is the best word that describes my spirituality. I am a seeker on a particular rung of the wheel.
Saint Charles Avenue Streetcar, New Orleans, Louisiana
To me, the ascent is rather a wheel than a ladder. A ladder presupposes one way up; while a wheel implies by its very design that different spokes can reach the same spiritual center.  The wheel turns with all of its spokes intact.  The center will hold; I believe that.  I am on the streetcar now and it has come to a stop, so I really have to get off now.  I can hear the driver yelling already!