html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: I'm fond of the Capitol Corridor myself.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I'm fond of the Capitol Corridor myself.

My perfect nephew likes to swing, so that’s what we do. I push him and sing the Up and Down song, and everything is great until the light rail train goes by, when it gets even better. Then we stop swinging and run to the edge of the play yard so we can watch the train as long as it is in view. We do that for every train. My perfect nephew is two.

My baby brother is eleven. He probably liked it that I took him to the unreasonably expensive IMAX movie, but not nearly as much as he liked taking the light rail to get there. Real freight trains cut through Midtown and the best is when we’re at a crossing when the train comes. Then we edge up to the rails as close as we can get, so the whole world is a thundering train passing a foot from our faces.

Anand is in his early thirties. I was trying to explain to Dubin and TJ that we wouldn’t mind stopping by the dog park on our walk. In fact, I said, three months from now, when we talk about this trip, the first thing Anand’ll mention is that we got to go to the dog park. “That’s only because I didn’t take the train from the airport.” Anand corrected. When I travel with Anand, I leave transit details to him; poring over train routes and schedules is his idea of a great time. We take the train a lot.

I know all sorts of bike and public transit advocates. I believe that they are profoundly environmentalist and have good reasons for choosing that cause. But as much as I think the reasoning behind public transit is sound, I also think that’s a small part of my friends’ dedication. Mostly, I think boys just love trains.

11 Comments:

Blogger Dubin said...

Don't forget that the freight trains go right smack past the dog park, too... dogs and trains together! What more could a boy (or girl, for that matter) want? When a train goes by, half the dogs go towards it and half the dogs freak out. It's pretty interesting.

1:04 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

I was half expecting another personality test (a la Dancing vs Dylan) at the end of this post, and was dreading what liking dogs way more than trains would say about me:P

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

then it must be the boy dogs going towards it.

-dithers

1:18 PM  
Blogger Youichi said...

My two year old son, who loves trains, wants to know what the Up and Down song is ?

The song we sing on the swing is "seesaw margery daw2 which sin't really about swinging but has the right rhythm.

12:58 AM  
Anonymous thelonious_nick said...

Great post! More posts about Sacramento light rail! Include routes and equipment and plans for expansion!

My son is 13 months old. He knows three words: mama, dada, and truck. When the trash truck comes by on Monday morning, or the school bus goes by in the afternoons, there is nothing more important in the world than that vehicle being in front of our house. Last weekend we took the train to Florida and judging from the squeals I would guess the baby was saying something like OH MY GOSH I CAN DIE HAPPY NOW BECAUSE WE ARE ACTUALLY ON A TRAIN!

7:13 AM  
Blogger Abby said...

Girls do too!

8:53 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

The original Up and Down song is by Mr. T Experience and is all three-chordy and punk. I think my cover is a little sweeter and reveals the affection behind the line "I look at you and sing a song about Up and Down". Anyway, if you come to Sacramento, we can go on the swings and I'll sing the Up and Down song, because I love it.

T_N: It really is a shame you couldn't meet in DC last weekend. I think you and Anand could have talked for hours. On the other hand, you got to go on a train.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous UnderwearNinja said...

I think boys just love machinery, and trains are about as giant as machinery comes.

11:51 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

I know boys who have no feelings for trains, but love planes something fierce.

Lots of people love machinery. That's why I took tractor driving at Davis. Big machines are all that.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Lo said...

There's a park back in Vegas that the freight trains run through... I always loved standing in the grass and watching them pass by. There was always a little touch of sadness when the last car would disappear, though.

(Incidentally, I only went to that park for the swingset.)

Something there is about a train that carries a sense of old-fashioned, classic beauty. I was in heaven the first time I took the light rail (Santa Clara) and CalTrain (Palo Alto).

2:52 PM  
Blogger matt said...

I definately love trains. For several years, my family lived a block from a rather busy set of tracks; I fell asleep most nights listening to their rhythmic click and clack.
I miss those nights sometimes.

8:09 PM  

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