Sunday, February 18, 2007

Metrobus: Because You Never Get a 2nd Chance to Make a 1st Impression

Last Thursday I was heading to a performance of the new ballet version of Edward Scissorhands at the Kennedy Center with The Green Girlfriend. During the summer I might've just walked, but it was a really cold night, so I was looking for a quicker route.

Metro's website recommended the 60 bus, which it said would pick me up a block from my office near McPherson Square and drop me off at the Kennedy Center 17 minutes later. Usually I avoid public buses due to inconsistent service in other cities, and the many inherent advantages of taking the train over taking the bus:

* If you miss a train, you know another one will be along soon, but if I'd missed the 60 bus, it would've been another half an hour in the cold before the next one.
* On a cold night, standing inside for a train is a big advantage over standing outside waiting for a bus.
* Trains don't hit traffic, but buses lurch along in the stop-and-go crunch.

And indeed, the 60 bus was five minutes late, then took 15 minutes to crawl the first five blocks when it was supposed to take 17 minutes to get me all the way to the Kennedy Center. Do they make the rush hour schedule assuming zero traffic?

The wait and ride took me 40 minutes when the train ride and walk would've taken me half that. On top of that, the bus dropped us off along a stretch of sidewalk that was completely untreated. We had to slide across 10 feet of ice to get to a cleared path.

End result of experiment? I don't like to write negative posts, because I hate blogs that just bitch about everything all the time. But damn, that sucked. I'll stick to the train or walking next time.

Fortunately, when I met The Green Girlfriend inside at the Kennedy Center restaurant bar, she had an Irish coffee waiting for me. And I can't say this strongly enough -- if you go to the Kennedy Center restaurant bar on a cold night, get the Irish coffee. It was big and strong and good.

The show itself was unique, definitely worth seeing. I was worried it would end up somewhere between a high school adaptation and Stop the Planet of the Apes, I Want to Get Off!, but it was very well done. Danny Elfman's score was fantastic as always, they mostly stuck to the movie's story, and the guy playing Edward kept Johnny Depp's endearing shyness.
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