Showing posts with label Trains. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trains. Show all posts

July 8, 2019

Morning Commute in DC

I took this photo a while back on the Metro to/from Washington, D.C. 

It combines the seemingly normal person on the way to/from work listening to music and reading the newspaper with wearing a pretty scare face mask. 

It reminds me of the horror movie, "The Purge," where people are permitted one night a year to commit crimes and murder others "legally" as a venting mechanism for social unrest and to help eliminate crime and criminals. 

Sitting across from this guy, you're not really sure if he's gonna finish reading the paper and walk off the train all nice or get up and start wiping people out left and right. 

Big cities in the U.S. can be scary places, and the mass transportation systems are one of those places where you don't always feel safe. 

Maybe a mask is just a mask until G-d forbid, one day, it isn't.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 29, 2019

Jerusalem's Amazing New Bomb Shelter



Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Jerusalem's Amazing New Bomb Shelter."
Israel Railways zips passengers north-south between Nahariya and Be’er Sheva and east-west between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv...but the best thing of all is that it also serves for the strategic defense for its citizens...there are provisions for 3,000 to 5,000 people to shelter from a nuclear, chemical, or biological attack on the holy city of Jerusalem
Thankfully, Israel is growing as a democracy, a Startup Nation, and as a light unto nations, yet it must remain vigilant and strong against enemies that could even attempt the unthinkable. 

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 4, 2016

613 Buses

Here's my next encounter today with mystical number 613 (the number of Commandments in the Torah).

This is the sign on the bus shelter by the Foggy Bottom Metro.

Two buses are on the way--the M36 and M31.

Both coming to the same bus stop.

One immediately right after the other. 

Read top right to lower left...613.

Within ten minutes I saw yet another 2 signs on the metro train in 2 different locations...both 6 car trains coming right after each other in 1 and 3 minute intervals.

(Note: Metro also has 8 car trains that it usually alternates with the 6's, but today none were in sight at either station). 
I am not making this stuff up...this is freaky, but if you believe, maybe also very cool. ;-)

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 18, 2015

Stop Harassment Now

I took this photo on the Washington, D.C. Metro. 

"If It's Unwanted, It's Harassment."

Only a day or two later, some ladies came to me complaining that they had been harassed on the Metro.

Apparently, they had been on the platform waiting for a train and a young man was first staring at them, then coming around them menancingly, and then following them. 

Thank G-d, they got away, but it was a frightening situation that left them wanting to actually move away. 

Residents in the metro D.C area and customers of Metro should not have to ride in fear. 

We need more police and surveillance cameras on the Metro system now!

Signs are a great reminder, but law enforcement action is what is really needed and called for. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 22, 2014

In Case Of Emergency


Washington D.C. Metro Emergency Instructions

Ugh, long and boring.


How 'bout this instead:


- Don't Freak Out

- Don't Get Out 

(unless your in immediate danger)

- Don't Take Your Bulky Stuff Out

- Don't Fry When Your Out 

(stay away from the electrified 3rd rail--zap!)

Easy, smeazy. ;-)


[Note: Follow instructions at your own risk.]


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal - sorry so fuzzy, train was moving)

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February 3, 2014

Metro Opens (Wrong) Doors

MetroOpensDoors.com is a website name for WMATA trains in/around Washington, D.C. 

So this was Metro opening the train doors today.

Unfortunatey, it was the wrong doors--the ones facing the tracks, and not the side with the platform.

I took this photo with the doors open on the wrong side. 

I wondered what would have happened if the trains had been full and someone was leaning up or against the doors--they could've actually fallen off/out of the train. 

Where exactly are the safety features so this doesn't happen? 

Anyway, we ended up being offloaded from the train, but at least no one that I know of ended up as train kill. :-(
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March 12, 2013

Tough Day!


This was just too much on the D.C. Metro today.

This lady is sitting with her badge and bag and a red pillowcase wrapped around her head with a blue shirt hanging out the top.

Of course, everyone around her is just like so what--as one guy holds on and another lady is on the phone yapping. 

When it's been a tough day, it is time to go home wrapped in a little solace--just make sure to breath between stops.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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February 1, 2013

Hold That Smartphone!


So coming home yesterday, there is this lady sprawled out, sleeping on the Metro.

Lots of people sleep on the train...especially after a long day and when the weather is the pits out there.

However, this lady falls asleep with her smartphone just lying out on her lap--no hands on--just plop sitting on her skirt. 

A couple of guys to my right start laughing and then saying what's that lady doing--someone is going to steal her phone.

They nudge another passenger standing in front of the lady to tap her and let her know.

The passenger begrudging does it and then the guys yell over from a couple of row away--"Hey lady! You better hold on to your phone or someone's going to grab it and run!"

The lady opens her eyes sees the phone just sprawled out on her lap, fidgets with it for a moment, and then of all things--she just falls right back to sleep again with the phone laying there unattended. 

These two guys on the train are roaring about it--one starts saying that he saw someone grab another person's device on the train just the other day and run right out the train door with it. 

At this point, the lady is sound asleep and now snoring away on top of it and her smartphone is rising and falling with her laborious breathing. 

Hey folks, this lady may not have gotten enough sleep the night before, been drinking a little too much, or may not have been the brightest bulb to begin with--but we've all got to be careful out there--hold unto your valuables and your smartphones is quite that. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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January 16, 2013

Jumping Jean Saves The Day

Metro
This was beyond my belief this evening--it is a true story!

As I was getting off the train, my iPhone slipped out of the OtterBox clip on my belt and fell...but it didn't just fall down, it fell at the precise moment that I was disembarking the train and it fell perfectly vertically right between the small space between the train and the platform. 

I couldn't believe it--I don't think I could drop it through that way myself even if I tried. 

Sure enough the phone is laying in the rock bed on the tracks. 

As the train pulled out, I was sure it was a goner, but apparently it survived not only the fall, but also the train running over it as it lay there.

A woman next to me, saw the whole thing unfold and she says to me after the train pulls out--"if you're going to get it, you better hurry up and do it now!"

I must've looked completely astonished when she said that as I peered over to the signage that said the next train was arriving in literally 1 minute!

I looked around for someone from the Metro to help, but no one was there. 

Out of nowhere, a young man rushes forward and says, "I can get it" and before I know it--he jumps into the tracks with the train approaching.

He did it so fast, picked up the smartphone, and jumped back out onto the platform, all in the nick of time--I've never seen anything like it--it was completely amazing. 

I was in disbelief that anyone would do something so crazy as to jump in front of an oncoming train to get a dropped phone that didn't even belong to them--simply to help a fellow human being. 

I tried to help grab him onto the platform, shook his hand, thanked him profusely, and offered him a reward--he refused to even take that. 

On the train we sat together, and he told me about how he came from Cameroon where he had little opportunity and was working two jobs here, including helping seniors and working at McDonalds. He told me how he liked to help people--and that was more than evident to everyone who witnessed this. 

In the end, the iPhone was still working and Jean strengthened my faith in good people still out there. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal from a prior Metro ride)

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September 12, 2012

Why Orange?

So I made some new "friends" on the train home this evening.

These two Tibetan Buddhist Monks.

I asked about their amazing robes--"why orange?"

They said, they didn't know why, but told me black, white, blue, and red were a no-no. 

They started to teach words from their language to another inquisitive fellow from New York riding on the train, and asking them how to say this and that.

They were laughing at his pronunciation. 

As he was about to get off the train, he grabbed for their hands and gave them a good shake, and off he went. 

I asked if I could take their picture and they smiled and immediately sort of sat up and posed. 

At one point on the ride, the monk on the right pulls out a cell phone and starts talking away--the modern technology was sort of a funny contrast with their religious robes and serene nature. 

Anyway, I loved this picture and wanted to share this experience. 

Hope you enjoy!

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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June 22, 2012

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other

This is a photo I took at Harpers Ferry.

There was a train coming by pretty fast, and on the flatbeds were what seemed like a endless line of Tractors. 

-- Red, red, red, red, blue, and then red again. 

I hurried to get my iPhone out and capture this photo while the train was rushing by at full speed. 

I love this shot, because it teaches an important lesson about diversity

Firstly, it reminds me of the children's song, "One of these things is not like the other. One of these things just doesn't belong."

From early in life, we are taught to conform a certain way--based on norms, culture, values, policies, rules, regulations, laws, religion, and so on. 

There always seems to be a reason that we have to talk, dress, think, and conduct ourselves--properly, politically-correct, and just like everyone else. 

And we are warned that "the nail that sticks out, gets hammered down"--so don't do it--it's too risky--you'll be labeled bad or worse yet, crazy. 

So while creativity and innovation is valued if it can bring someone a nice profit, we are still cautioned not to go out too far on a limb or else you risk getting ridiculed and rejected--hey "you may never work again in this town."

But in this picture, the tractors tell a different story--that it's okay to be a blue tractor in a long parade of red ones. 

No, the blue tractor wasn't a mistake, it isn't abnormal or alien or evil, it's just different and it's cool. 

The blue tractor stands out, but it isn't a bad thing to stand out--and the blue tractor won't get hammered down.

It's okay to be a blue tractor in a long procession of red tractors--and it's great to just be who you are--blue, red, yellow, green, or whatever. 

Conformity is not normalcy--it's just look-alike, copycat, and probably even boring. 

Being different can be novel, inventive, out-of-the-box and exciting--and more important it can usher in needed change.

I think we need more blue tractors in a red tractor world.

Will you take a chance and be a blue tractor too? 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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June 21, 2012

"Plastered" On The Metro

The Washington D.C. area Metro has been so bad this week...

Fires, delays, overcrowding, doors not closing, people screaming, trains being unloaded and taken out of service. 

Today, the trains were so packed, this one guy (pictured) was literally "plastered" up against the glass, practically holding on for dear life. 

Forget about any air conditioning, with the heat in the city reaching 96 degrees today, one train that I was on actually seemed to have the heat going. 

The people were drenched in sweat, fanning themselves, trying to gulp in some air at the station stops, and generally praying the train didn't get stuck in the tunnel to top it all off. 

It is almost unbelievable that this the public transportation in The Capital of the United States of America!

Luckily, I met a friend on the train and at least had some good conversation and laughs to make the otherwise dismal ride go by faster. 

This must be the week for crappy transportation for me--what did I do wrong?  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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