September 27, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut
What Are You Looking At?
When I leave my house, with downtown San Diego as my destination, I have two public transportation routes I can take. The best and fastest option is to jump on the orange line trolley, which takes about 40 minutes to reach downtown from my neighborhood trolley station. The second, much slower avenue is to take the #7 bus, which plods along University Ave. from La Mesa all the way to Balboa Park where it turns south on Park Ave and continues on into downtown San Diego. This route takes about an hour, and even though it is a much more interesting ride, it is much less desirable because it just takes so long.
May I Help You ?
So, every photo in this post was captured while riding along on the #7 bus, from La Mesa to downtown San Diego. The photos were taken through the window, inside the bus or in downtown, after exiting the bus. The generally confused look of the people above is probably due to me snapping their photo as the bus was driving by or stopped at a light, leaving them to wonder why the Hell I was taking their photo.
I am a very big fan of what I refer to as unposed portrait photography. People looking directly at the camera and grinning like a fiend is just about as dull and ordinary as you can get. There are subtle things that happen when someone poses for the camera that can only be photographed in unguarded conditions. I think that when the subject doesn’t know they are being photographed or isn’t posing, the photos turn out much more interesting.
There are a lot of homeless and unfortunate souls out here in sunny San Diego, and there are a lot of veterans too. San Diego is of course a Navy town; I went to boot camp here myself back in 1992, but back then I only rode the trolley to the Mexican border , so I never noticed the homeless people that try to make their way here.
Riding public transportation in several major cities in several different countries over the last 20 years, with 5 of those years being right here in San Diego, I have become desensitized to the price of gas, traffic reports, insurance premiums and the other things that go along with owning a car. These are all things I enjoy not thinking about and not spending money on. The problem is that public transportation substitutes a slew of other things into the place of automobile ownership, and uh… Those other things really suck!
Bracelet, Tattoo And Fingernails
Anyway, this post is meant to showcase the views of the people, places and things you will see while on the bus, and a few things other things you can see by utilizing the bus, or the trolley, not to rant about how time consuming, slow and generally frustrating riding public transportation can be. If you go to San Diego’s public transportation website, you may notice that they only tell you about money you MIGHT save by riding public transportation, and NEVER mention things like the time you will lose, the asshole security guards, or the constant tardiness of EVERY SINGLE trolley and bus in San Diego county.
Dancing At The Trolley
Whatever. We say that, so why shouldn’t SDMTS? They can pay dancers to work on a weekend day at trolley stations, as pictured above while slashing weekend trolley service by 40%. Awesome. Padres & Charger fans still receive preferential treatment while actual commuters get dick, which is very, very frustrating.