Thursday, December 20, 2007
Riding the Streetcar
Although I took this photo of the Portland Streetcar back in October, I wanted you to see this particular stop, at Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital, so that you would know what the streetcar looks like and where Mama and I recently caught it.
On a good weather day, we could have walked the eight blocks. A couple of Mondays ago we knew it would be raining, maybe hard, but we still made the decision to go to her eye doctor appointment using only mass transit. People do it all the time in Portland--one of my bus buddies has not owned a car since 1976!
We boarded a 15 bus in front of the Goodwill Store on West Burnside, a block and a half south of us, but uphill all the way. The bus turned north on NW 23rd Avenue, and we rode downhill all the way to Lovejoy, where we got off and quick-stepped on a totally level sidewalk (thank goodness) to catch a waiting South Waterfront streetcar.
Naturally Flat Stanley accompanied us--he'd never been on a streetcar and was curious about how it compared to a TriMet bus. You can read all about the Portland Streetcar here. Flat Stanley himself was particularly pleased to read the section about bringing your bike onto the streetcar, just in case he ever decides to trade in his Vespa for a bicycle.
As you can tell, Mama got a kick out of Flat Stanley's sitting all by himself in the seat beside her. Since it was raining pretty hard, Mama had taken off her eyeglasses and put them into her pocket. She's holding tightly onto my somewhat water-resistant tote bag. I carry it in a downpour rather than my rolling bag because I can't figure out how to keep the rolling bag from getting drenched.
Did you notice those shiny spots on the floor? That's where rain dripped off people as they stood, waiting for their stop to come along. I'm surprised that the floor is that surface. It looks hazardous to me, but I don't particularly remember feeling unsafe.
We made it both directions without a hitch--riding the Portland Streetcar, braving the wind and rain--just like we'd lived up here all of our lives. We are Portlanders!