Saturday, August 4, 2018

Going Underground / Pasar A La Clandestinidad

La versión español está después de la primera foto.

THE NEW YORK City Subway system has more stations (472) than any other in the world. It's a marvel. It can also be hot, crowded, dingy, smelly, and unpleasant. The Washington [D.C.] Metro system (91 stations) is much less crowded, dingy, smelly, and unpleasant.

But then, the New York system opened in 1904, while Washington Metro has only been around since 1976. And Washington's annual ridership is less than 2 million, while New York's is nearly 2 billion!

Washington Metro, with its much more pleasant spaces is now showing its age. Chunks of plaster are falling and two stations were closed for repair while we were there, requiring shuttle buses between stations. Escalators are being replaced and many weren't working when we needed them.

We used both transit systems. We enjoyed the convenience. And we complained. Mostly about the heat in the stations. Especially in New York.

And San Geraldo complained even more after he climbed, in the 90-degree heat (32C), the sixth longest escalator in DC, which was out of service at that moment.

Had I been with him, I might have suggested he exit at the other end of the station. But that's just me.

THE RENOVATED BROOKLYN MUSEUM STATION. RELICS FROM THE COLLECTION ADORN THE WALLS.
LA RENOVADA ESTACIÓN DEL MUSEO DE BROOKLYN. RELIQUIAS DE LA COLECCIÓN ADORNAN LAS PAREDES.

EL SISTEMA DE metro de la ciudad de Nueva York tiene más estaciones (472) que cualquier otro en el mundo. Es una maravilla. También puede ser caliente, abarrotado, lúgubre, maloliente y desagradable. El sistema de metro de Washington DC (91 estaciones) está mucho menos concurrido, lúgubre, maloliente y desagradable.

Pero entonces, el sistema de Nueva York se abrió en 1904 mientras que Washington Metro solo existía desde 1976. Y el número de pasajeros anuales de Washington es menos de 2 millones, mientras que el de Nueva York es casi 2 mil millones.

Washington Metro, con sus espacios mucho más agradables ahora muestra su edad. Trozos de yeso están cayendo y dos estaciones fueron cerradas para su reparación mientras estábamos allí, lo que requiere autobuses de enlace entre las estaciones. Las escaleras mecánicas están siendo reemplazadas y muchas no estaban funcionando cuando las necesitábamos.

Usamos ambos sistemas de tránsito. Disfrutamos la conveniencia. Y nos quejamos. Principalmente del calor en las estaciones. Especialmente en Nueva York.

Y San Geraldo se quejó aún más después de que escaló, en el calor de 90 grados (32C), la escalera mecánica más larga en Washington, que estaba fuera de servicio en ese momento.

Si hubiera estado con él, podría haberle sugerido que salga al otro lado de la estación. Pero solo soy yo.

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN. DUE FOR RENOVATION.
EL CENTRO DE BROOKLYN, DEBIDO A LA RENOVACIÓN.

THEY'VE BEEN RENOVATING NEW YORK'S STATIONS. BUT THEY CAN'T RAISE THE CEILINGS.
HAN ESTADO RENOVANDO LAS ESTACIONES DE NUEVA YORK. ¡PERO NO PUEDEN SUBIR LOS TECHOS!
WASHINGTON METRO.
IN DOWNTOWN WASHINGTON. A [NEW] 7000 SERIES TRAIN (WE WERE TOLD AT EVERY STOP).
EN EL CENTRO DE WASHINGTON. (UN [NUEVO] TREN DE LA SERIE 7000, NOS DIJERON EN CADA PARADA.)
DUPONT CIRCLE STATION. SAN GERALDO'S STAIRWAY TO PARADISE.
EN LA ESTACIÓN DE DUPONT CIRCLE. LA ESCALERA AL PARAÍSO DE SAN GERALDO.

19 comments:

  1. Both systems make the cities they are in liveable. My great-grandfather worked on some of the tunnels in New York (deep stuff or underwater.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Travel:
      I remember you telling about your great-grandfather; and everyone of my ancestors (and family) traveled those tunnels. I agree about the systems making the cities livable.

      Delete
  2. I forget which escalator is the longest - wheaton or bethesda. dupont circle is like a baby compared to those two. was the elevator out of service for poor SG?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ann marie,
      I wasn’t even close! It was DuPont Circle, which is the sixth longest! Wheaton is 230 ft. Then comes Bethesda at 212. Dupont Circle North is 188! Thanks!

      Delete
    2. ann marie,
      I think the elevator and presumably a working escalator were at the north end of the station. Jerry didn’t think of that.

      Delete
  3. I feel the walls closing in on me just looking at these! I'd make a lousy big city dweller.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deedles:
      It can be a bit oppressive if you're not used to it... or if you're in one of those moods.

      Delete
  4. Subways used to be such elegant gorgeous places and now they're grimy and utilitarian. I love the old tile work and the signs, but, yeah, the heat and the smell can get to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bob:
      Some are still elegant. And some in DC, although without the architectural detail, are grand spaces. I wish I had taken more pictures of the station at the Brooklyn Museum. Really beautiful.

      Delete
  5. I've never ridden a subway. I'm curious to try one.

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    Replies
    1. Kirk:
      I love it.. New York's is exceptional although I do find it often oppressive and sometimes depressing. Still, I'll take a subway over a bus any time.

      Delete
  6. I rode the one in Atlanta, but we ubered the whole time in DC

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    Replies
    1. Adam:
      I've never used Atlanta's system. DC's Metro is a pleasure.

      Delete
  7. I love the subway, metro, tube, underground, train, etc., especially while playing tourist. The people watching is great and you can spot some cool architecture like the photos you have.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wilma:
      I agree with all of that... especially the people watching!

      Delete
  8. When I go to a new city I like to check out their subway system. It seems to reflect the mentality and 'health' of the city.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spo:
      I agree with you. A great way to learn about a city... and to get around.

      Delete
  9. The DC system has expanded a lot since I lived there (mid-80s). I rode the NYC subway last in 2016, all in Manhattan, and was really impressed with how clean and easy it was. But it wasn't hot. I know that the Paris métro in summer can be suffocating. However, as a transit nerd, I tend to forgive those faults easily.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Walt the Fourth:
      We lived there at the same time and were also impressed with the expansion. I love subways and you're right I think about New York's being easy (and MUCH cleaner than it used to be). Sometimes, for me, there's just something sad about the riders on a crowded New York subway. Obviously my own memories coming into play.

      Delete

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