The Train Ride to Williamsburg


Throughout the day, I took some notes on my experience taking the train from Richmond's Main Street Station to Williamsburg Transit Center. I did for my Uncovering Richmond class to talk about the regional transit. Overall, I was impressed with the speed and reliability of getting to Williamsburg, but what I saw was immense opportunity to bring commuter rail to Richmond, simply by using existing infrastructure. 

Pt. I – Commuting to the Station and In-Station Experience

There's a charm to the station when you first arrive here.There's a charm to the station when you first arrive here.

I'm currently sitting in the waiting room of the Richmond Main Street Station (RVM) waiting for the Northeast Regional train to Williamsburg. I'm doing this out of a mix of a class assignment (write about regional transit and share the experience), and sheer curiosity to see how trains outside of the New England/upper Mid-Atlantic run and operate.

The past few days, I've been engrossed with architecture, and I blame some of my historic and housing classes for that. Specifically, I've been thinking heavily about a bizarre skyscraper that sticks out like a sore thumb in the London Financial District: Lloyd's Tower – easily one of the most idiosyncratic buildings in London. 

I first saw the building during my London Trip this past July and had mixed feelings at first from seeing it. The building had a lot of noise and activity stemming from the external pipework, elevators and spiral staircase that resembled much of a drill bit. The array of items and lack of uniform made it out to eventually be seen in my eyes as one of the most unique buildings I ever saw. The patterns on the building are unusual, and stem not from the framework, but elements like elevators, stairways, corners, and utility lines. Simply put, there's nothing out there quite like that.

Perhaps a final point of noting is the idiosyncrasies in terms of style it seems to exhibit. Looking at the building gives me a sense of playing some dystopian futuristic video game. It has, as a friend from London pointed out (Dannyboy), a "grungy" futuristic look it, rather than a more glossy, glass-centric futuristic look that so many other buildings in London seemed to have. (Cheese Grader, Walkie Talkie and Gherkin, I'm looking at you).  

For months I've entertained the idea of returning to blogging, and getting back in the swing of writing out my thoughts and observations, and well, I've decided to get back into it. With it, I'm hoping to regain a grasp of being able to write and convey my thoughts more professionally, and better thought-out. Also, it might help organize my thought process more effectively, which lately, has been so scattered for the past few weeks. 

Since I've last blogged, my interests, passions, and goals have vastly changed &mbsp; the dreams of journalism, soccer beat writing, music writing and potentially teaching are long gone. Now, they've been replaced with the vague notions of city reform, city design, anti-suburbanism, mass transit, and redesigning the way we travel, and the way we see how we live. Essentially, my interests are the outline of typical urban planning and city design collegiate courses, which should be a given after two years of focusing my studies and investing my energy and interest into this field, and wanting to dedicate a portion of my life towards it. 

Where I am now is the beginning the final chapter of my undergraduate studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. To sound painfully cliche, it is has been nothing more than a foundation of my learning, and that my studies have only begun. Maybe it's simply growing up, but as I've ascended through college, there is always something more to know, and absorbing the knowledge is not as easy as we all wish it could be. In fact, that's most likely the case. I truly will not really grasp my understanding of the professions within my major (Urban and Regional Planning) until I am entering graduate school, which I am to do at VCU, as well as the entry level positions in the working world, or if I am able to achieve a dream of mine, running a transit company that can transform how we see travel. 

Now that my ridiculous exile return paragraphs have finished, I can now begin this stupid blog. 

If it was this time in 2009, and someone gave me their notion that Twitter and Tumblr would, one day, become a site that would bring Facebook to its death knell, I would have naively believed them. Turns out these sites grew slowly in 2010, but became parallel outlets to express ourselves alongside Facebook.

The growth of these sites, I think, came from people's internal desires to vaguely express their innermost desires, without having to broadcast it to a massive, frequently-attentive Facebook audience. The notion to make Tumblr's and Twitter's was not to replace Facebook, but to filter the stream the content that is posted on Facebook. That all started with the rise of people talking about the "Facebook scene" outside of website, and made actions one does on Facebook as critical as actions done in reality.



Joining the ranks of Spotify in the category of "lets brag about our activity" comes the Washington Post Social Reader, a revolutionary online newsreader that allows you to read the latest Post articles without ever having to leave Facebook. Immediately upon the release of this application, I, along with many others have been caught by this application and found ourselves, *gasp*, reading articles!

Wait, the hell is this?! Teenagers reading posts published by the Washington Post? The fuck is this? Kids my age are suppose to be mean to the newspaper and belittle it to nerdcore material, and obtain news from the gossip on TV, magazines and the Facebook news feed.

Was at the Watch The Throne concert with Brandon last night. For those of you that don't follow the hip hop/rap world, that's these two underground acts called Kanye West and Jay-Z. Concert was, for the lack of better word choice, insane, amazing. Can't believe I got to go!

I never previously blogged about my HIST 201 paper, primarily because it is a boring subject to blog about, and in our day and age, blogs are by far the most boring thing to read. But if I'm still keeping your eyes glued to your glowing screens, here I go: There was a paper in HIST 201 that focused on two articles arguing about the Great Depression. I had to analyze them and see which article made the stronger argument.

It's about fucking time some random...shenanigans occurred in my dorm. To be fair, in a suite style building that's 17 stories tall, that's no easy task, yet this fearless trio did just that.

It was technically today, since it was a hair past midnight, but my roommate's friends came by to see if my roommate was there. He was not, and before they could head out, we heard this loud crash in my suite's common room. Naturally, I slowly get up off my computer, and lunge to the door. Instantly, I see a guy fall down screaming, wearing a banana suit. Attacking the poor banana dude is a another guy in a gorilla suit, and he is just outright relentlessly mauling the guy in a banana suit.