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Monday, March 12, 2007

Beauty and the Bus

One summer during college I decided to take a Greyhound bus to visit my sister in New York. It was a stinky and arduous process involving a filthy bus station in an unsavory corner of Baltimore, “salt of the earth” fellow passengers (translation: edgy drifters and mothers yelling disciplinary obscenities at their children), and tedious stops along the route. All this, in the days before gel hand sanitizer. So I was skeptical when friends recently recommended the Washington Deluxe bus service that picks you up at 15th and K and travels directly to midtown Manhattan, and vice versa. When they told me it costs $35 round trip I decided that skepticism was for suckers. In the years since that awful bus trip, I’d routinely been shelling out $120 for either a plane, train or gas-and-toll bill.

Still, after they made the recommendation, I actually took the time to read the Post story from a while back about the questionable safety records of some of these curbside operators. Despite using phrases like “seem to operate with virtual impunity,” and "whatever, it's your funeral," I couldn’t really detect anything for which a $35 dollar roundtrip bus fare could not compensate. That left one hurdle: would the passengers hark back to that trip where I had to sleep with one open eye trained on the scar-jawed dude next to me who looked like he’d shiv me for the peanut butter crackers in my bag?

To the contrary, I can happily report to those of you unfamiliar with the D.C.-to-New York City curbside bus system that it might as well be called The Coldplay Express. Most of the passengers were mid-to-late-20s females. Oversized sunglasses, J. Crew car coats, and tousled top-knotted hair abounded. While, it's a boon for those of us looking for a cheap and plush shuttle to the city, the real jackpot is for the gentlemen on the make. A smart guy looking for a girl would be well advised to budget enough cash to simply spend a weekend going up and back on the thing. With the exception of the occasional male hipster, pretty young women with little else to occupy them for four hours fill the seats. It’s like a Jane Austen novel on wheels.

Godspeed travelers.

13 Comments:

Blogger I-66 said...

Bus?! And here I thought it was all first class for the Bird.

Acela or nothin!

6:19 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Noted. I'll let you know my results.

7:03 PM  
Blogger Virgle Kent said...

So um what you're trying to say is there was a bunch of Sea donkeys on the bus or what?

11:30 PM  
Blogger Brunch Bird said...

I-66-Don't get me wrong, I looove the Acela. But 35 clams!? How can you beat that?

Eric-Heck you could probably score a number or two just hanging out at the Starbucks at 15th and K where it picks up.

VK-Good lord, I don't even want to know what that means.

12:32 AM  
Blogger Alejandra said...

I love this post. I've never been brave enough to take the bus. Like the Bird, I'm an Acela girl all the way, but I've always been curious. Perhaps I'll make the next trip to DC Chinatown express trip...

Oh and VK, what the hell is a Sea Donkey?

2:47 AM  
Anonymous Baker said...

Alejandra, make it one way.

Sea donkey - like sea cows except liberals.

7:36 AM  
Blogger Twoste said...

Heaven forfend, the vagabonds are migrating!

12:51 PM  
Blogger Jo said...

Sea donkey... That's too funny.

I've never had a problem with Buses. Trains though, that's where the creeps hang out. The most disgusting and depressing place you'll ever see is the smoking car in the train.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Virgle Kent said...

A sea donkey is one level above a mud turtle.... duh

have any of you people ever been in a bar at last call?? Or in a Frat House basement when the music stops playing with half empty cans of miller on the floor? That should give you a hint

5:07 PM  
Blogger inowpronounceyou said...

I took the bus up to NY for Yankees games last year, and while you must have gotten a better lookin bus than I did, it was the "$35?!" that kept me from complaining about anything. That bus would have to be on fire for it not to be worth it.

7:23 PM  
Blogger Needtsza said...

It's less money to get on a bus to Atlantic City and they give you chips too.

I think ya got on the wrong bus ;)

2:57 AM  
Blogger honeykbee said...

Perhaps even a well advised sea donkey could spring for the $35 ticket in hopes of snagging a gentleman on the make during his final trip of the weekend? There seems to be something in this for everyone.

7:13 PM  
Blogger HomeImprovementNinja said...

I was just walking past 15th and K and saw a bunch of these people standing in line. I had no idea what they were waiting for since they were standing in front of Starbucks but not going in.

7:26 PM  

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