Column: These strangers on a train were friendly ones

Friday’s column begins with a random encounter on a Metrolink train with two readers returning from their first trip, inspired by my columns. Thankfully, they had enjoyed themselves. (Whew.) Items follow from the Upland and Pomona libraries, and a plug is offered for a pie festival Saturday in Claremont.

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  • Ramona

    Have a great time judging the pie festival, David. Remember, pies containing chocolate should be among the winners. Anything containing chocolate has NO calories.

    (Sigh. Don’t we all wish.)

    • davidallen909

      Actually, due to temperature/food safety issues, only fruit pies were accepted, no cream pies. I’m expecting to write my column for Wednesday about the festival.

      • Andy Sze

        Food safety omg!!!

  • Andy Sze

    You were there David? I stopped to watch the pie eating contest while biking from Pomona back to Rancho. Missed an opportunity to see the famous David Allen again!

    • davidallen909

      I was right in front of the table, taking a video that, alas, vaporized into the ether during the upload. Gosh darn it! Sorry to have missed you.

  • Andy Sze

    I’ve been using the metrolink quite a bit after I purchased a new road bike and have been making good use of the day pass. It lets me get untethered from the car and transit stations. I took the Metrolink from Irvine to San Juan Cap. Biked from there to Dana point and then to San Clemente. Got back on the train and guess what? It was moon amtrak day @ the Mugs Away Saloon. patrons pull down their pants and show their butts to the passing train (I’ve got pics if you want to see… brought my zoom lens for that =))

    Last weekend I metrolinked to Union Station. Red Lined to Sunset/Vermont. Road to the Silverlake Farmers Market and met with a group. Road to Crenshaw and then to Inglewood stopping at murals along the way. Did a return to Downtown LA, jumped on the Redline to Union Station, took a bus to Monterey Park. Met up with some friends, took another bus to El Monte Bus Station, biked from there to the Metrolink Station, took it back to Rancho. Drove over to the Epicenter and watched a Quakes game with wife and friend. Did all that transport with just $10 day pass.

    • davidallen909

      Andy, you are a transit god. That is some serious day pass use!

  • SAWZ

    I was in LA that Sat. too David. Must have been 3,000 people at CA Plaza, with a couple great bands–one local and one from Chile. I keep telling people about this venue and, still, most tend to roll their eyes when I tell them the shows are free.
    Last night, Friday, Aug. 2, my friend and I went to CA Plaza and ended up with a transportation-experience we did not plan to have. First, the show: On the docket were Ozomatli , with “I See Hawks in LA” a band that performed one song and a couple other groups. Ozomatli had been charged with taking music from the sheet music archives of the LA Library and putting on a show–and what a show it was! The show was scheduled to begin at 8:00 p.m. I already know about the fan-base of Ozomatli, so we got there at 5:00 p.m. and secured our front row seats right at the water side. The seating areas were packed with people by 7:00 p.m,. and I will guess that there were 5,000 people there by 8:00 p.m.. Joining Ozomatli in brief appearances were Cheech Marin–we all chanted, “I was Born in East LA” with him; Jackson Browne sang a couple songs and did a guitar duet with an Ozomatli member; and at the conclusion, the MC from the Library introduced Stevie Wonder–the crowd went crazy. He did about three songs and Ozomatli ended the show in their usual style. It was quite a show! It was free!
    As for the transportation part of the night: Knowing that our last train went out at 11:00 p.m., we excited ourselves from the crowd at 10:15 p.m. to get into the rest areas while we still could. We took Angels Flight down to Third St. and were standing on the Red Line platform by 10:30 p.m.–our timing was excellent according to all my year’s of experience at this. When the train on one side of the platform pulls out for Hollywood, the train on our side going to Union Station will pull up about five minutes after. Well, we waited….and we waited….and my friend said, “Look at that message”. I looked up, and the message said something akin to the fact that all station stops from Hollywood to Union Station would run 20 minutes late. (If my friend and I had known that, we could have started walking back to Union Station by 10:00 p.m. The message was probably being posted all day, but I hadn’t noticed.) At that point we were sunk. The train finally came, and we missed our Metrolink by ten minutes and got to the Silver Streak stop a few minutes too late. Then we had to wait another hour for the next bus. The kicker was that we had left our cars in Claremont and that bus only stops at Pomona and Montclair. The driver said we could either call someone to pick us up in Montclair, call a cab, or walk back to Claremont. Fortunately, my friend and I are both good walkers, so the trek back to the Claremont station was the easiest part of the ordeal. I am not too happy with the two Metro agencies right now. It seems to me that knowing they are going to do maintenance at a certain time, there could be a collaboration between the two so that the last train of the day can wait for the subway that feeds the travelers for that time period. It seems like a waste to me for both the agencies and the travelers. My friend, not yet, a senior, had a full price metrolink ticket–and those are not cheap. Our bus tickets were reasonable–mine was only $1.15 and I can’t complain, but still………………I got home about 2:30 a.m.

    • davidallen909

      I watch those monitors above the subway platforms for arrival times but have been caught short a time or two by belatedly seeing alerts for maintenance problems that delayed trains. It’s annoying, especially when you’ve got somewhere to be — in this case, a Metrolink train! And when you could have walked the distance and gotten to Union Station with time to spare.

      You raise a good question about collaboration between MTA and Metrolink.

      I’ve never tried walking from Montclair to Claremont but if you can do it, as a senior, then I suppose I ought to be able to do it!

      • SAWZ

        It was just short of a mile and one-half–piece of cake.

  • SAWZ

    I went to the Claremont Plaza this morning and got in on part of the pie demonstration. They passed out samples of chicken pot pie which were delicious. I felt a little guilty taking it–not enough to pass it up though–because I was going to the only showing of, “The Attack”. The movie (excellent) showed to all of five people–I give up. To think that the public at large would prefer, “Sharknado”, is a little scary. (Then people will wonder in the future why the Laemmle couldn’t make it with the foreign movies.) After the movie, I stopped at the pie shop, thinking I would get my husband one of those chicken pot pies. But, I couldn’t see such on the menu, and the line was very long. Looks like they brought themselves some business.