Monday, January 27, 2014

There Will Be TrIP

On January 14th, there was a reading by five different artists who had taken part in the Transit Interpretation Project (TrIP). TrIP asks artists to travel to destinations using the Lynx bus system. The poems, narratives, and images make there way to "The Corridor Project" TrIP site. Julian Chambliss, Patrick Greene, Dina Mack and Moriah Lorraine Russo read their stories. They posed for a photo with Lynx CEO John Lewis.

I sketched Patrick as he read about his bus TrIP. He romanticized the travels of the beat generation like Kerouac knowing full well he would be home that evening to a home cooked dinner from his mom. The most fascinating write up came from Julian who gave a brief history of public transportation in the south. It seems northern cities developed their public transport systems before the advent of the automobile so the systems they designed had to be robust and efficient. Southern cities urban sprawl came about after the advent of the automobile so public transit came just as an afterthought. He also spoke about the history of Eatonville Florida the first entirely African American community. Although it might have seemed like voluntary segregation, it also demonstrated that this community could not only survive but thrive.

Jesse Bradley was the host for the evening. Amazingly he has been taking the Lynx buses every day for 17 years. He tried to drive a car and he even tried a moped with apparently tragic consequences. The angry mobs on the Florida roads are intimidating. I always drive with the notion that no one else on the road is thinking and that they could do anything with no reason or thought of consequence. Even so, it is seems many drivers want to drive through the traffic in front of them. With people texting and talking on cell phones the incidences of full speed rear end crashes are escalating. This weekend I saw a car waiting at a red light get hit at full speed from behind. It is crazy out there people. A bus is a huge battering ram but there must be a high incidence of accidents from impatient, insane car drivers drying to swerve around the bus as it pulls up to each stop.

Chapbooks of the stories read are being made available for $8. There are 39 copies available as of this writing. As I left the reading I grew anxious knowing I would have to take the bus back home. I walked under I-4 into Parramore to the closest 21 bus stop.


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