Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Come On Ride The Bus, 'N Ride It

Cars are not cool.

Okay, so some of them are. The 1956 Jaguar XK-140 in Cruel Intentions is pretty bad ass. I saw that movie and wished that I, too, had a boyfriend who got hit by a car in New York City so that I could cruise around the Hamptons in his kick ass ride.

Okay, maybe not the boyfriend-hit-by-a-car part. But the rest of it would be awesome.


My car is not nearly as cool. It's a Saab so that means it enjoys a bit of a cult following, but otherwise it's a piece of crap. GM did a horrible job of building Saabs when it fully owned the brand beginning in 2000. The 1999 to 2002 models have an inclination for developing sludge, which can render the engine completely inoperable.

And that might just be the problem I have on my hands.

A whole lot of bummer, huh?

The great thing about this dilemma is that I don't live out in the sticks. I live just blocks away from the heart of Downtown Cincinnati. I live steps away from great cultural and dining and drinking establishments (not to mention a host of really interesting people residing in OtR/CBD).

And I have fairly convenient access to Metro, Cincinnati's public transit system.

Metro currently consists of a pretty simple wheel-and-spokes busing system that circles the metropolitan area and shoots in to the city on key, arterial roads around the Tri-State.

I recently rode the bus to Clifton to visit a great pal and had a fun time watching the people and looking out the window at my surroundings. Some of my observations were really valid and legitimate. A few of them are completely silly.

First off. What is up with the people who ride the bus and talk to themselves? An old, grey haired man who sat a few seats away from me punctuated our ride with random outbursts directed at no one in particular. He smattered his rambling with, "Smitty smells!" or something similar, followed by nonsensical prattling.

The people on the bus are a trip.

About Metro. I really wish a few things about Metro. I wish its website was more interactive. I wish its online system maps weren't massive PDFs. I wish Metro had its own mobile app (for every kind of phone - iPhone, Droid, BlackBerry, you-name-it). I wish Metro had electronic signage at the bus stop shelters informing riders about which bus lines were arriving and when.

Metro really could be so much for the city, but it has a chicken-egg predicament on its hands. People in the sticks won't ride the bus unless it becomes more convenient, but Metro likely won't make convenient improvements until ridership rises. Chicken-egg.

I can't wait to see how Metro changes/evolves/improves when Cincinnati gets its streetcar system.

As the 17 bus whooshed through Clifton, I was struck by the strange logo for the urology office on Clifton Ave. It's this weird image that looks like it has a little blue heart on the end of a penis. I am all about truth and simplicity in advertising, but I think this logo is a bit much. I mean, I get it. You are a urology office. Is it necessary for you to be so balls-out with your signage?

It was a bit much for my taste.

Something else that could be a little gamy. There's a restaurant on McMillan in the heart of UC's dining mecca that has a neon sign of a lobster hanging in the window. I think the restaurant was Maki Express Sushi, but I'm not a hundred percent sure. One thing I know of: I am never hitting up the area near campus for lobster. I don't care if it's boiled, steamed, baked or stuffed.

Gyros, pad thai or pho? Yes. Lobster? No.

I don't think I've ever noticed that neon lobster in the window before. Normally I am behind the wheel and trying to avoid the college students who are playing Frogger and jaywalking. Riding the bus gave me the opportunity to gaze out the window and notice the world around me.

The next week or so will bring with it the ultimate news about my car. The road ahead could involve a couple, less expensive fixes (for only $1800) or it could reveal the possible need for a new engine, which prices at between $3500 and $6000, depending on if I go used or new.

The need for a new engine could be the death knell for Sabine the Saab. Maybe not.

The one thing that's certain: Whether I decide to fix the car or junk it and buy a scooter in early spring, it looks like I'll be riding the bus for a while.

And I'm okay with that.

It gives me a chance to watch the world around me.
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Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.


Anonymous said...

You might be interested in this map I made. Follow the link:

Kitty said...

Hey, don't underestimate Maki! It's run by a super nice family and when we lived in Clifton, we went there a lot. Great sushi at an affordable price for college students.

I think lobster in the window is in the window of the king wok, if I remember correctly....