< meta name="DC.Date.Valid.End" content="20050825"> Amendment Nine: Train Dispatch #5, from Laguardia

Monday, February 28, 2005

Train Dispatch #5, from Laguardia

Haven't had the opportunity to take the train lately... been doing a lot of flying. One thing I've noticed about those flying our commercial skies is that they are markedly different from those riding our public trains. Almost no one wants to talk to you when you fly, unless you're in business class or first class and you and the person you're talking to are both flying alone. On rare occassions, coach flyers will strike up a conversation, usually prompted by the children flying with one of the conversants. Kids have a way of breaking the ice in close quarters that adults just can't seem to handle. And that's where I think the main difference lies. On planes, you're on top of each other (unless flying business or first, see above) . When you're on top of each other, you're afraid to make the other person (or yourself) any more uncomfortable than you already are. You can smell their breath, so they can smell yours. You understand this I'm sure. On trains though, there's a little more room, and you can walk a few cars to get yourself a beer (or two) instead of waiting for some lady to bring you one. Even the side by seats are bigger and a little less "cozy" than two coach seats side by side (however, I have noticed that less conversation typically occurs on the side by side train seats than their three seat bench counterparts holding only two passengers).

What's all this mean? Not sure, but something to keep in mind. Give people a little space and they open up, they become friendly, and they start having good conversations, the kind that shed light on the day to day, or the kind that are therapeutic. Pack people in like rats and they'll shut up, stare straight ahead, and forget to ask questions or crack jokes. Makes me think about the suburbs... Speaking of which, please check out a new blog on suburban development and land use. Started by friend of Amendment Nine DML. We caution DML though, most friends of this site don't fare well at MyDD or Daily Kos... Not sure why, just a warning. Anyway, the blog itself seems pretty interesting and we hope to hear more from DML soon!