Are We There Yet?

Each phase of the trip has its distinct architecture, economy, vegetation. Some areas are lushly overgrown (or starkly beautiful in winter white). Some are very urban. You pass the backs of apartment complexes; you rumble across rivers and streams. There's at least one major urban stop along the way (White Plains), and a university (Fordham). This is a distinctive store in the Bronx, which I used to see every day from my train window.

It's fun to pick out detail in what you pass, to try to guess what people's lives are like by the swingset in the back yard. Poorer communities have utility ladders hanging down toward the tracks; the richer folk have jogging trails along the rivers.

Just north of White Plains is a workyard filled with extra rails and tools and the machinery that keeps the Metro North Railroad going. My favorite detail, for no particular reason, is a small sign:

You have to watch quick as you go by, or you miss things.

As you move on north, you hit a few vast cemeteries, which always intrigue me. Some have chapels visible from the tracks; some have lakes, where swans gather in the fall. If you miss the "early" train (really the last of the three trains that get met at the station by a company shuttle to take you to the office), you get the train I always called the funeral train, which makes a special stop at a tiny platform adjacent to the Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

That's all the pictures for now. After that, you're at the Pleasantville work farm itself, where you find some of my favorite usual suspects:

Someone else writes, intelligently:

Checked out your site, I really dig the metro north ride exploration! I've often been moved by my train riding experiences and I especially appreciate the photos, of course the Hudson line is much more enlightening, both sides of the train have two very different versions of life to offer, the inside track gives a vision of the class changes as you get further and further from the metropolis, graffitti stops and houses spread out and rise higher and higher above the tracks. the grass really is greener and then , all the sudden, when the fare from grand central hits about 7.50 or just sort of flatlines, it hits a platue in the sense that once you get to far north the money etc...declines once again, the commute from lucrative working place not comfortabley manged unless one has access to helicoptors or is not needed to show up at work every day on schedule etc...

of course, if your not into contemplaining the economic structure of suburbarn areas you can sit on the other side of the train and trip out on the uninterrupted natural beauty of the hudson river, I always wonder why certain trains, around sunset time, aren't more crowded. The scene is really out of this world.

well, let me stop and get soem work done. I think we should get together and come up with adverts for the MTA, there not doing so well, perhaps a catchy ad campaign would bring in some loot and retrun them their reputation,

(sorry for ending with a comma.....,....)

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