The saddest sight in the world, or in my world, at least: a Metrolink train pulling away from the Union Station platform, with yours truly having arrived no more than a minute too late to catch it. But a miss is as good as a mile.
(The train was even closer when I got there but it took me a few seconds to get my camera ready.)
These things happen. I was out and about in L.A. on Saturday, going to the record store Amoeba Music near Sunset and Vine and eating an early dinner at Go Burger. The waitress paid me a memorable compliment upon seeing a book on my table: “It’s so nice to see someone reading. You are a unicorn, my friend.” (As personal nicknames go, perhaps “Unicorn” will become the new “D-Bomb.”)
Although I finished my meal around 5:30, her remark encouraged me to hang out with my nose in my book (Sax Rohmer’s “The Bride of Fu Manchu,” which as the title implies is weighty stuff) for a half-hour or so afterward. There was no rush.
I walked back to the Hollywood and Vine subway stop. It was 6:25. My Metrolink train was at 7:10. A block away was the Fonda Theater, and I thought I’d go over and see who would be playing in the near future. After returning, I took a photo of the subway entrance and posted it on Foursquare. Oh, you fool.
When I got to the subway platform at 6:40, I’d missed the subway by five minutes. The next one came at 6:47. Uh-oh. Making the 7:10 Metrolink was looking impossible, but I rode all the way to Union Station just in case. I arrived at 7:08, the time changing to 7:09 before I got to the escalator, and by the time I made the Metrolink platform, the 7:10 was pulling away.
The perils of public transit. You’d think I’d know better, after doing this so many times, but sometimes lessons must be learned again and again.
With trains often two hours apart, missing one can be an inconvenience. The next one was at 9. But it wasn’t like I had to be anywhere, so I made the best of it, walking to the new Grand Park near City Hall and reading a while longer, then taking the subway back to Union Station shortly after 8. I boarded the train at 8:45. I wasn’t going to miss this one. (If I had, I’d have been stuck until 11:30.)
Had I actually had to be home, I could have taken the Silver Streak bus to Montclair or Pomona, although I wouldn’t have known how to get from there to my car in Claremont. Transit-savvy reader Erik Griswold supplies the answer via Twitter: the 480 bus from either location or the 187, 197 or 492 from Montclair.
Anyway, I arrived in Claremont at 9:50, and a few minutes before arriving, I finished my novel. Why? Because I am a unicorn.