Los Angeles Underground

Los Angeles Underground

One of my best friends, the best man at my wedding in fact, is himself getting married! As such, the same friend who organized my bachelor party (see exhibits A, B, C, D, and E) is about to have his own — in Vegas (insert .gif from The Hangover).

The only setback, it starts on a Friday morning. After making some calls and pulling some strings, I struck a deal to have Friday off and make up the time next week. One of the perks of working at a start up, flexibility.

Escalator descending to Universal City Metro station

While I could drive to Las Vegas, I am not sure I want to drive 4 hours at the crack of dawn, by myself, to catch up with the guys. That’s when it occured to me, I don’t necessarily have to drive. I looked at last minute flights, too expensive. I looked at trains, too long of a journey (twice as long actually). Finally, I looked at buses, bingo!

The coach bus would leave at 7:00 AM from Union Station, which means that I would still have to make my way to Downtown LA before sunrise. Sure, I could take an Uber or Lyft, but today is about public transportation, namely, the LA Metro.


Friday: Day 1 of the Bachelor Party

My alarm goes off at 4:30 AM for me to get ready and make my way to the underground train station I used to take every day to go to work, and make my way to Union Station — Universal City station.

Universal City Metro station

Entering the station felt like muscle memory, I remember those public transportation days vividly. I still even had my old “tap card” to enter the station. Unfortunately, it had insufficient funds on it, which forced me to take a minute to reload my card, which in turn made me miss my train.


The next train would not arrive for another 15 minutes. I would be cutting it really close — down to the last minute, if I made my bus at all. Still, I waited patiently for the next train knowing that there was nothing I could do to make the next train arrive faster. Before I knew it, a train full of half-asleep passenger was opening its doors before me.

Los Angeles Metro Red Line Passengers

Every stop along the way felt like a roll of the dice, like a game of craps, where at any given point we could roll a 7, say encounter a train delay, and lose it all — perhaps this could be foreshadowing for what is to come. Fortunately, the train arrived at Union Station with 5 minutes to spare, I hopped onto the bus, and was on my way to Vegas through the road less traveled.

It is always interesting taking the Metro in Los Angeles, mainly because very few people utilize it as their preferred method of transportation, but also because a number of people do not even know it exists. I certainly did not know we had a subway system until I returned from New York — where I would take the subway almost exclusively to go just about anywhere. On a related note, how weird is it to navigate cities several feet below the surface?


Tell me, have you ever taken the subway? If so, what was your experience like? Do you prefer to drive your own vehicle or take public transportation?

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(Featured Image by: Mr. Ramdolfi)

On the Road Less Traveled

On the Road Less Traveled

A stream of earth dashes right next to me, much too fast to even distinguish the dirt and plants that compose it. I raise my gaze and the ground begins to slow down, incrementally decelerating until I reach the mountains in the far distance that gently inch their way past me. I imagine them as old majestic creatures calmly walking on the road less traveled.

The sun caresses the right side of my face, while the rocking of the wind and the sound of speed entice me to close my eyes and go back to sleep. I even seem to notice a sign that reads “Zzyzx Rd.” If I did not know any better, I would think that I was being welcomed to sleepy town.

I blaze through the desert as fast as this behemoth and it’s conductor allow us to, but I remain stagnant, peaceful, only moving my fingers but to type these words. I find the comfort in the quiet, most of us aboard do. Silence. Then I hear someone yawn, perhaps they will join the half of the passengers who have elected to nap – I certainly considered it.

Mr. Ramdolfi typing these thoughts while on the road.

I look around me. I look through the windows at the vast nothingness around me, and I feel, inspired by nature. It’s incredible. To think that there was a time when this was it. I attempt to fathom life in the great outdoors before the invention of, well, doors. It sounds grand; daunting, harsh, and likely uncomfortable, but grand.

It is moments like this that allow me to step back and acknowledge that we are all one people with a single ancestry, divided only by our own constructs. We are just one of many species that has cohabited with the rest since we first set foot on this land. Most impressive of all, we have gone from nothingness to today. If only the hunter-gatherers of yesterday that roamed the same grounds where a McDonald’s is now open for business could see what securing food in today’s society looks like.


I find it interesting how it takes stepping out of the known to see the bigger picture. The monotony of daily life combined with the city grind generally encapsulate me in a specific mindset, one that I openly enjoy, but one that occasionally restricts my ability to think beyond the parameters of my routine. This, this is different.

This is traveling, specifically, this is the journey within traveling. While I always look forward to the destination, there is something special about the journey. I believe it is the same reason why so many of us enjoy going for a drive without a set path. It’s delightful, almost therapeutic. For these reasons, I am happy to be on the road.

Tell me, do you enjoy road trips? Do you prefer the city or nature? For you, is traveling about the journey, or the destination?

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(Featured Image by: Sebastian Palomino)