Thursday, March 05, 2009

Red Rocket Blues

I'm a city girl. I have no car. Although I zipcar, cab or walk most places, usually I take public transit everywhere. I live within spitting distance of the subway station, as well as several bus routes and the streetcar. But in the interest of full disclosure I admit that I actually have a love-hate relationship with the "Red Rocket".

You see, I love the Red Rocket when it rescues me from the chill of winter and whisks me away to a knitting class in Scarberia on a sunny Sunday afternoon.


I love it when it brings my little inebriated self home after an afternoon or evening of indulgent tomfoolery. Also, my over-worked self home after a long day of work, or my over-loaded self after a shopping or yarn accident.

When it is raining, snowing , shraining or otherwise wetly inclement weather, I love the bright red flash of the streetcar as it silently zips through the streetcar turn-around loop where I work, mere inches from my desk, sometimes the driver giving a cheery smile and wave as they roll past or showcasing a lovely ad in my window as the car pauses before turning southbound on McCaul...(I particularly enjoyed the CK underwear ads of 2008...)

Streetcar Mosaic

I don't love the bright red flash in dry, arid weather when the streetcar not-so-silently -- and ever so much less zippily -- moves through the loop with a sound akin to a stampede of wild, enraged elephants on the war path. Not only does it make for some embarrassing moments while one is teleconferencing (evoking the polite suggestion that it would be helpful if someone could stop torturing the elephants), but it creates the most unproductive, crazy-making work environment...every 10-20 minutes from 7 am to 6 pm, for up to 2 minutes at a time...

Yesiree. That's when the love fades and desperate people start to do rain dances, pray for death, pray for a TTC strike, pray for the weather to warm up and the water "dribbler" to get turned on which lubricates the tracks somewhat (it gets turned off in the winter season as it would freeze on the tracks...and doesn't get turned on again until it is consistently above zero degrees C for a certain number of days in a row and someone remembers to turn it on).

I was told in time I would not even notice this noise. Let me assure you that is not the case. (You can see my office window on the wall on the right side of the frame -- right inside the loop). Between the shrieking and moaning, add to this delightful auditory concoction, a deep rumbling as well as rattling of all the windows, pictures on the wall and the "baffle units" in the ceiling: it's the TTC symphony orchestra. Playing the "Red Rocket Blues".

Enjoy. To really get the full experience, play it 3 times in a row, every 10-20 minutes, accompanied by a small child beating a pot with a wooden spoon.

PS. I'm sorry there is no Calvin Klein underwear ad on the side of this streetcar. But there is a lovely reflection of OCAD's Sharp Centre for Design on the streetcar windows right near the end of the clip.


not an artist said...

I have to admit I have more of a hate-hate relationship with the TTC. Not living on the subway means I travel by streetcar 90% of the time, and I don't know what is worse: having to watch 5-7 packed fulls streetcars pass me on King in the mornings before I can get on, or having to wait 20-30 minutes for the Bathurst streetcar in miserable weather. It took me close to an hour to get home from knit-night on wednesday, and its only a 30 minute walk!

lilliputianme said...

Even with all of the screachy-ness, irregularity, busy-ness, smelly people, rude people, wierd people - I miss it!

The Blonde One said...

Oh my. It's so long and loud that it actually led to a fit of giggles. It's like bad sketch comedy.

Anonymous said...

bring back the CK models! woooooo oooo uuuuoohaooohhohahcochochochochooo