Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Two Evils

One thing I haven't posted a lot about is my trips back to the Burbs. Oddly enough it has not taken long to feel completely at home in the City. Since I didn't bring my car up with me, it makes it tough to get down to the Peninsula from SF. Which I know sounds strange because it is only about 30 miles away and every other City in our great Country and around the world pride themselves on their public transportation, but in the case of San Francisco, getting around sans car is a lot easier IN the City then OUT of it.

My choices on getting back to the Burbs include BART or Caltrain. BART is great and picks up right downtown which is easy for me to get to from my house, but it drops off in Millbrae - a good 10 miles from San Carlos where my parents live and even further from my sister's house. This isn't totally horrible but it does mean I have to bribe somebody to come pick me up at the BART station. Hence BART; easier for me, not easier for the Family.

Just a quick aside...when they built BART back in the early 60's it served only the East Bay. Which to this day, it still does, quite well in fact. BART reaches all the way to Pittsburgh / Bay Point servicing about 20 different East Bay Cities. Meanwhile BART abruptly stops ONE stop past the airport in the South Bay. The reason? Caltrain. Caltrain lobbied against BART using Sara Palin type scare tactics, telling people on the Peninsula that if they expanded BART to San Jose, "bad people" from the East Bay would come in and rob their houses. Total Bull. So, thank you Caltrain for making it more difficult to get around on the Peninsula.

In light of the above it makes sense that Caltrain, on the other hand, drops off right in the heart of my parent's quiet cozy little town. My main problem with Caltrain - I can't read the damn schedule to save my life. I mean a lot of towns have trains, I've even read train maps in foreign Countries that are easier to understand then that of good ole' Caltrain but yet again, I digress. Caltrain also picks up at the very south end of San Francisco so it is kind of a pain and can be rather expensive if you cab it, to get to the station. I know you saw this coming but, Caltrain; harder for me, easier for the Family.

So what is a City gal to do? I've chosen to not go to the Peninsula all that often. Which means, movie nights with my Sis are few and far between (boo), as are dinners with Peninsula friends. I basically go down for the big stuff and then bribe someone to drive me to the BART station in Millbrae and try to really enjoy that hour trip home. This little problem could be solved once I get rid of my car and more importantly the payment and sign up for Zip Car - which is a car sharing service in the City. Then I can at least have access to a car when I want it and escape the City when I'm in need of a break, without having to choose the lesser of two evils.

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