Seriously missing Boston

Rob V. checks in from the Other Coast:

I'm sitting in a terminal at LAX and wishing I was waiting for the Silver Line.

I hate the Silver Line.

I love my family in LA, but I hate this city so much that I wish I was on the Silver Line right now...

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Wow, I have to chime in on

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Wow, I have to chime in on this.

I recently (last weekend) was in San Antonio, Texas for a job interview. And wow. what a difference by comparison to Boston.

I lived in Atlanta for many years, and yes Atlanta is spread out but at least its GREEN (lots of trees) and it has some sort of sprawl control (the mountains). AND its not endless shopping malls, strip malls, apartment complexes, and housing developments. And yes folks, its not even as flat as SA.

But San Antonio.. it was very dirty. Very flat. and endless malls, big box stores, chain restaurants, housing developments, and apartment complexes. (that and high retention electrical wires).

My friend took me "downtown", and the only NICE part was the tourist area, the rest of it was very run down and dirty.

I'll give Boston credit, even some of the 'bad' areas of town have character and are better kept than San Antonio. I kinda was happy to touch down at Logan. It felt 'good to be home'

Needless to say I was not impressed, I will be hard pressed to take the job there if I am offered it. (although I dont think they were impressed)

EDIT: I should add that I had never been to Texas before this trip.

they should interview in springtime

That's when Texas looks its best.

They've had something like 25 days over 100F in a row - everything is dried and burnt, even the tap water is 90F.

MBTA may suck butt

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but it's *our* butt-sucking, and it's familiar.

Not exactly a time for

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Not exactly a time for arrogance, with news of the Green Line expansion delay still hot off the presses.

When LA knocks off Boston for top light rail ridership in the country, will you make a post about that too?

And yet...

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10 times the population, 1/3 the light-rail ridership, actually. LA is a special kind of commuter hell, mostly because it's damn near impossible to get anywhere without driving your car down a 12-lane parking lot. So yes, presumably, if LA ever fixes its public transit system to have anything approaching the coverage and per-capita ridership of the T, Adam will do a post on it.

I just defended the MBTA in a public forum. I feel... unclean.

Damning with faint praise

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LA is an ungodly sprawling shithole that should be nuked from orbit.

"At least Boston isn't LA.!"

Can you imagine Herald site commenters trying to cope with LA levels of illegal immigrants and crime?

My first time in LA was last

My first time in LA was last year, and I wasn't very impressed. Too dirty and smoggy for my taste... and one of the bars I was taken to ran out of Guinness. My friend started to shrink of shame when I started yelling "Where the Irish people at? This is a disgrace!!"

Yeah, I'm a Bostonian!

Guiness in LA

Why bother - any beer shipped that far is going to suck.

There are a lot of California and Oregon breweries with a fantastic selection available on tap nearly everywhere in LA - my favorite was introducing a friend and co-author from Sydney to "Arrogant Bastard" Ale. He loved it, and I loved hearing him say it.

I only rode the light rail once, from Long Beach to Pasadena. Other than the confusing "how much do I need to pay" issue and the lack of signage in the central station for people changing trains, it was a pretty smooth trip.

All said, I do like LA and have lots of friends there ... but I couldn't ever live there because of the pollution despite the job opportunities it creates for me (but, hey, that pollution pays for my junkets).

LA has a subway?

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Long Beach, Pasadena, and downtown/Hollywood are basically the only places you can get to on LA's subway system. And there's no reason to go to downtown or Hollywood.

I couldn't believe how bad the mass transit was in what should have been walkable, transit-friendly areas like Venice Beach, West Hollywood, and Redondo Beach. And nobody seems to know why the Green Line comes within two miles of LAX without actually getting there.

Unlike LA, where the oldest

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Unlike LA, where the oldest rail line (the Blue Line) is only from 1990, the MBTA has a huge backlog of maintenance just to keep their much older existing system in shape

http://www.mbta.com/uploadedfiles/About_the_T/Fina...

(see chart on page 9 of $4 billion of necesarry projects which are not yet funded)
It will cost about $1 billion just for the MBTA to replace the Orange Line fleet and the oldest Red Line cars. That's more than the cost of building a new line.

Older complex mature transit systems need to focus on keeping what they already have in shape, not expanding.
I don't see too many major expansion plans actually moving forward in Chicago, Philly, or Cleveland (all cities with older rail systems). And its taking a long time for NYC to get any part of the long proposed Second Ave line built (construction began on some segments in the 1970s, opening of the first segment now pushed back to 2016).

L.A. has some awesomeness

Dude needs to start reading J. Gold in the LA Weekly and getting around to some of the amazing low-end traditional restaurants there. It's a UN of food being cooked by ex-pats for ex-pats, not dumbed down for American palates. Gold chose that gig over reviewing 5-star restaurants around the world for Gourmet. Incredible diversity and authenticity to be found there.

Not so interesting at the high end: they cater mostly to Hollywood types, and those people don't really enjoy food.