Trackside, with Cheese

The trip to New York for Bert’s Cebular’s memorial ride was a quick turn-around for Basil and me.  Nonetheless, we did manage to stop at Fairway before catching our train home.  There’s one conveniently located just a couple of blocks from NYCeWheels, on 86th Street.


Fairway’s produce is to sigh over, but I had in mind other fare:  cheese and rainbow cookies.  You can fit a lot of both into a Mini O bag, and still have room for an e-reader and a bunch of miscellaneous stuff, too.  (The cheeses are Le Fournols, Appenzeller and a third one I don’t remember.  Maybe a Gruyère?)


Thus fortified, Basil and I headed for Penn Station, and hopped on our train.


This time, Basil rode in the luggage rack.  A Brompton would fit upright in the lower section, but Amtrak had pre-empted the space for a box of stuff.  That’s OK; Bromptons are nothing if not adaptable, and Basil is no exception.  My seat was just across the aisle, so we were in full view of each other for the entire trip.


Unsurprisingly, the scenery, when leaving the city, along the tracks, is quite industrial.  The unusually clear sky made a reflecting pool of the waters we passed.


I loved spotting this giant yellow beast.  It’s a track-laying machine, I think. Dr. Diarist and I saw one in action recently, but I don’t believe I was able to take pictures at the time.


A historian could make much of all the abandoned buildings along the NYC-Philadelphia route.  I don’t know the specifics, but it’s easy to speculate on how changing manufacturing patterns render formerly thriving businesses moot.


Sometimes towns grow right down to the tracks.  Or maybe it’s the other way around?


It’s common to see junk yards and abandoned equipment next to the tracks, but not usual to see anything as colorful as this pink bus!


This is the Handy Street Laundromat in New Brunswick, New Jersey. (“Transportacion Gratis 7 Dia a la Semana”.)  It looks huge; I’m guessing they do linens for businesses, too, rather than simply offering access to washers and dryers for the public.


North Philadelphia is pretty gritty, most of all near the tracks.  Tagging is still a popular art form; there probably isn’t enough money in any transportation budget to keep up with graffiti removal, so it just becomes part of the landscape.


Once out of Philadelphia, heading west into the suburbs, things become much greener, even where light industry is located next to the tracks.

rt-tnThough we suburbanites deal with our own bits of grit.  This is an ancient (and frequently smelly) tunnel under the tracks at a local train station.  It’s all part of the experience!