Light Rail Rides

I was waiting on the platform at Westlake Station this morning when I saw a guy in a leather jacket with a cool Bela Lugosi movie poster sewn onto the back. I had an urge to photograph it, but I wasn’t sure how to go about it. I could just ask him, but how would I explain why I wanted to photograph it?

The guy in the leather jacket was among a group of people with suitcases, obviously waiting for Link light rail to take them to the airport.

I decided that he was in a public space, and I was taking a photo of the station. Besides, you don’t wear such a large decoration if you don’t want people to notice it. I figured that as long as I cropped people’s faces out, and I framed it so the jacket was part of the overall scene, it would be OK. I took the photo holding my phone vertically, so it wouldn’t be so obvious that I was taking a photo. (Later, I cropped the photo horizontally.)

The train arrived, and I went through the same door as the leather jacket guy and his friends. As we passed I said to him, “Nice jacket!” He nodded, but gave me a blank look. Either he didn’t hear what I’d said, or he didn’t speak English.

I hardly ever ride light rail home these days. Link has become more of a tool than a toy to me, and that’s a good thing. With the addition of Capitol Hill and University of Washington Stations, our light rail system has increased its usefulness, and I no long feel that I need to support it. I am pleased to see the system grow.

Link light rail gets me from Pioneer Square Station to Capitol Hill Station faster than the 47 bus gets me home, but it also gets me farther from home. I discovered, long ago, that the time it takes me to walk home from Capitol Hill Station is exactly equal to the time I spend waiting to transfer to the 47 at 4th & Pike, so I get home at the same time with either option. So, unless I need to be on Broadway, to pick up a book at the library, or food at QFC, or I have a chiropractor appointment, I’ve been opting for the shorter walk home.

Maybe when the weather becomes more pleasant, I’ll opt for a light rail ride home more often.