Friday, February 09, 2007

Cruisin' in the Queen City

I think I've written earlier about my strong affection for my Saab.

It's a beautiful piece of machinery despite my neglect of it's sleek interior and beautiful, titanium gray exterior.

My crush for the Swedish auto brand began years ago when my dad bought my sister, Bridge, and me an old Saab to bop around in during the high school/college years.

The hatchback style is super cute and drives like a tank - a perfect combo for safety and style.

There is a downside, though.

Every freakin' part costs a bazillion dollars, with the highest price tag in the frame going to the Turbo.

Even that word sounds brooding and troublesome.

Well, my car broke down last Saturday. The mercury topped out at a freezing 20 degrees that day, and I don't think it did well for my little Saab. I managed to make it about half a mile from my apartment when I noticed a bunch of smoke billowing from the rear of my car.

And a strange smell of melt wafting in the passenger compartment.

Wouldn't you know - it was my car's Turbo.

The whole job checks in at about $1,900 dollars. That's trouble when you live a sans credit card lifestyle and have $300 to your name.

The upside to this is I am a resourceful girl.

And I have wonderful friends.

*** *** *** *** ***
Sunday night I went over to my friend Lenna Lou's house. She and her boyfriend fixed a great dinner of homemade pizza and beer for the massive Super Bowl extravaganza.

Before the big game, Lenna, Jeremy and I explored the Metro website. This is the place where Cincinnatians are supposed to find clear information about routes, changing buses and arrival/departure times.

There we were, three college educated people, without a clue in the world as to how I would embark upon my crosstown journey.

I was pretty stupefied.

I can ride NYC's subways without a qualm. I've slayed Boston's T and I could do the Vegas monorail system blindfolded (but then, who couldn't, really?)

I've ridden public transportation in Paris, London, Bermuda, Munich and other far flung locations without a hitch (well, except for that one time when I peed my pantyhose), so I was pretty dismayed at the difficulty in finding a proper route for departing from my in-town apartment and arriving at my in-town place of work.

The great thing is metro has a hot line for all us idiots who can't figure out something as simple as hopping on a bus and getting to work.

I've now spent four days hitching to work on le bus, and I've realized the system isn't all that bad.

I love the moments I get to pleasure read. I've gone months without nourishing my brain with some quality literature, so I am using this whole bus period as an opportunity to get the synapses hungry for more pulp.

The other thing I love about riding routes 11, 12x and 39 - the chance to just sit and stare at Cincinnati's stunning architecture. Last year the National Trust for Historic Preservation put the downtown Over-the-Rhine community on a list of endangered places because of blight and demolition threatening to destroy rare, classic styles of architecture.

It's hard to appreciate the gorgeous, ornate moldings and detailed trim gracing hundreds of downtown buildings while behind a wheel, but my time on the bus has given me a chance to ooh and ahh over the truly spectacular pieces of property in Cincinnati.

I'll be hoofing it on the bus for a little over a month, and I intend on taking advantage of the situation.

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