Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Tents and the T

Tents and sleeping bags

More tents and sleeping bags

Took these photos awhile ago. I've only ever seen these miniature displays in Target stores. I got such a kick out of them the first time I saw them. I like to think of them as matching tents and sleeping bags for your ferret should you go camping with your ferret. You could have the miniatures inside of the human-sized counterparts. Very postmodern.

I spent the July 4th weekend in Boston. I've been to Boston a few times now, but I still learned new things about the place, the characteristics that make each city unique. For example, sometimes two people will go through a rotating turnstile together on one subway token. I'd never seen that done anywhere else, but apparently it's common in Boston, at least in places where security cameras have yet to be installed. I'm not even sure two people can fit into the turnstiles here in the New York City subway.

The T is phasing out its token fare system. One night, I had to buy a token from the attendant. I could see through the glass that he had lined up all the tokens on the counter to his left. On his right he'd lined up different coins so he could quickly give out change.

The T passes are known as CharlieTickets and CharlieCards, named after the Charles River. That'd be like New York City's MTA naming its passes the Hudson or, as a friend pointed out, the East.

The announcements on the T sound a little mournful, not at all jaunty like the announcements on the Chicago El. No one can hear anything on the MTA, at least not on the older trains. (Saturday Night Live got it right with its sketch about why subway announcements are impossible to understand.)


Blogger athena said...

Ahaha. I recently wrote about the D.C. Metro, and how they changed the automated message to "STEP BACK!! Doors closing!" People have complained about how rude it sounds, lol.

7:09 AM  
Blogger Train Mon! said...

No offense to you're being from New York, but you couldn't be any MORE wrong about where the name "Charlie" came from for Charlie Ticket and Charlie Card. It came from a fictional guy in a song who, years ago, got "stuck" riding the MBTA back when it was the MTA (T for TRANSIT, TRANSPORTATION) because he didn't have enough change to pay the exit fare--a more-than-coincidental situation to what's going on today with the "proposed" fare increases. A handful of MBTA stops have exit fares; although these days even if you paid cash at your entry point and didn't have enough at the exit point, they'll probably just let you out, laugh in your face and tell you to be more responsible rather than send you back down the line to a "free" exit point stop. The official song, done by The Kingston Trio, is titled "Charlie on the M.T.A." So no rivers!! I mean, who knows, maybe The Kingston Trio got the name "Charlie" subconciously from the Charles River, but there is definitely no direct connection. Supporting source:

3:19 PM  
Blogger Train Mon! said...

A correction to my post: "(T for TRANSIT, not TRANSPORTATION)."

3:23 PM  

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