From August 2014 through March 2015 I rode a Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority train or bus to work five days a week.
I’d get on the Metro, as we call it, at West Falls Church. I’d get off at McPherson Square. I was surprised how little time it took for my body to get to know the route. I’d look up from my crossword puzzle and know — subconsciously, before I read the station sign — where I was.
East Falls Church. Ballston. Virginia Square. Clarendon. Courthouse. Rosslyn. Foggy Bottom. Farragut West. My stop.
And sometimes I knew which day of the week it was, too. On Thursdays I would be met at the top of the McPherson escalators by a Latino gentleman playing an electric ukulele.
I spent a lot of time waiting for trains. Sometimes I’d read. Sometimes I’d catch up on emails. Phone calls were a waste of time. A lot of the time, I’d pull my iPhone out of my pocket and fire up one of my favorite camera apps (Hipstamatic, Hueless, Mextures, Enlight) and see what I could see.
The Metro is a never-ending buffet of lines and textures and light. There are 11 different architectural styles throughout the system. Black and white felt right…by removing the color it allowed me to focus on and emphasize those lines, light and textures. Making these pictures was like a mini-vacation every day. I started Instagramming them and tagged them with #letsgotowork and #letsgohome for the different legs of my journeys.
There were times when it took less than 25 minutes to go doorstep to doorstep. Some trips took more than 2 hours. There were times I had an entire train car to myself, and times we were packed to the gills. I traveled in late-summer heat and in deep-winter cold.
I work from home now, and maybe ride the trains once every two weeks.
Some days, I actually miss it.