Daily Commute: Life on the Metro Gold Line

Metro Gold Line at the Mission Station

CLICK IMAGE TO ANIMATE. The Metro Gold Line whizzes across Mission Street in South Pasadena on its way north from downtown Los Angeles.

Welcome to the life of an LA Metro Gold Line commuter. The light rail train you see here zooming across Mission Street in South Pasadena (CLICK IMAGE TO ANIMATE) is the trusty mode of transport that I ride each day to and from work. Every seven minutes during peak hours (and less frequently on weekends)  the Gold Line moves hundreds of commuters, kids, old folk, and homeless day drifters from the San Gabriel suburbs to downtown Los Angeles.

I’ve explored subway systems and trains in most of the major cities around the U.S. and I have to say LA’s Metro ranks up there with the best of them. Yet still, it’s public transportation. And that means it never goes exactly where you want to go without transferring or hoofing it.

My routine goes like this: Walk to station – 3 min. Gold line to Little Tokyo- 20 min. Walk to bus stop – 4 min. Dash A bus to a block away from office – 11 min. Walk to desk – 4 min. That adds up to a 41 min. commute, at best.

Which leads to the question I ponder most morning and afternoons as I make my way to and from the office: Wouldn’t it be more convenient to just drive? Don’t answer that…

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Travels With Ringo

Ringo, The Dog.

Ringo, the dog, came to us from the San Francisco Humane Society where he was three-weeks into his sentence. His previous owners abandoned him with a bad rap sheet, detailing a long list of warnings to potential owners: “Bites, not house trained, runs away” and so on.

At a lean 27 lbs. and full of life, we saw another dog entirely in Ringo. He was cute, loyal, and promised to be a good companion, which he has turned out to be in every way. We adopted him on the spot and jumped in a cab back to our apartment to introduce him to his new Good Life.

Seven years later (that’s nearly a half century in dog years) Ringo hasn’t lived up to his bad record one bit. He has traveled the country with us by air and automobile sniffy his way through life and eating everything in his path. And he’s been a good companion despite his bad dog breath.

Ringo will travel again this month. We’re not exactly sure where. We’ll be reading John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley, thanks to a recent recommendation, and taking pictures. Wish us luck.