Tag Archives: metro

New Travel Stories on Wandering Blogger

Check out my travel blog, Wandering Blogger, for a few new stories on my trip to Washington, D.C. … still in progress. I’ve only been on the ground for 12 hours, and I’m already having adventures! In fact, I’ve already been attacked by a cougar!!!

Headed Back to DC >>

Hitting the Same Ol’ Spots >>

The Washington Metro >>

Some of my favorite graffiti displays

I like graffiti that sends a message. There’s one wall decoration that I still wish I’d captured, but I never got around to it. I used to go to the Peace Club, a dive bar outside Camp Casey in South Korea– back when we still had troops that far north. In the bathroom, they had a piss-trough instead of urinals. I remember it well. The wall over the trough was littered with graffiti; there was barely room for anything new. After all the time I spent there, removing consumed beer from my body, I read most of it. One “exchange” is still crystal clear.

“I used to believe in the common decency of man”

“I still do”

They were written by two people, the second below the first. After a while, I used to pick the spot at the trough that would put these two lines at eye-level. In some ways, I still miss that wall and these two comments. I doubt it’s there any more. Last I heard, the Peace Club was no more. I do hope that management kept that wall intact.

Ever since then, I’ve been extremely interested in graffiti. The first, up top, is from a small covered walkway in Old Quebec. Yeah, some people still aren’t crazy about being French-speakers in an English-speaking country.

Iceland is such a sanitary country, but they are developing a graffiti problem. This wall just struck me as the antithesis of what one expects to see in Iceland.

Tallin, Estonia had some good material as well. The tagger below, it seems, was hungry. I guess he (or she) likes Italian.

The next one, though, is my favorite from Estonia. It sends a pretty powerful political message, and indicates the importance of open dialogue in a free society.

There was clearly a taggers’ debate going on here. First, someone wrote “Fuck Fascism!” I happen to concur. Next, someone put “anti” in front. Since I’m not a fascist, “Fuck AntiFascism!” doesn’t exactly resonate. But, a third person joined the conversation and crossed out “anti,” and then a fourth person crossed out “Fuck”. So, we wind up with the message, “Fascism!” Of course, I could have the order of events a bit screwed up, but we can see clearly where the discussion ends. Such a shame.

Also political was a bit of graffiti I saw in  Paris metro station. This was during the Sarkozy/Segoline election, which got pretty nasty.

Wow, I guess this guy doesn’t watch Fox News!

Montreal goes underground

In the winter, nobody walks the streets in Montreal; it’s too damned cold. So, the city has developed a vast network of underground tunnels that connect many of the city’s hotels, restaurants, retailers and other business establishments. The underground network is pretty spectacular in the summer, too, since the whole thing has some great air conditioning.

You can find an entrance to the underground city by looking at Metro (subway) signs. If it has the letters “RESO,” the station also serves as an entrance to the underground city. Once underground, you can choose to take the subway or explore the underground city on foot.

The underground system is pretty amazing. There are plenty of retail and dining options. The network goes several stories below ground and reaches above the surface. Also, it was designed to allow as much natural light as possible. I was definitely impressed.

I thought I’d cause some trouble with my host, telling him that this subway station design is a knock-off of the Paris metro. Instead, he just laughed and explained that this particular work was a gift to Montreal from Paris. So, he put me in my place easily. I may think before speaking next time, but as I explained to him, I doubt it.

The subway system provides great access to the city. In fairness, it’s not quite New York, Washington, DC or Seoul, but it certainly is at least a step up from Boston or Helsinki. I’ve heard great things about it. I wanted to give it a try, but when faced with the opportunity, I had to choose the streets. That’s where I prefer to be when I’m working on a story.