Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Tide is in

The long overdue light rail system for the city of Norfolk, Virginia opened with much fanfare on Friday. The Tide, named after an old moniker for the region that encompasses seven cities in Southeastern Virginia  (Tidewater), began its run with free rides for the entire weekend. The city was so overwhelmed and overjoyed with the turnout that extra trains were brought in to accomodate the crowds, who stood in line for up to an hour at times, to hop on board for the roughly 7.5 mile line. I decided to walk down to the York Street station, which is only three blocks from our home, to snap a few photos and possibly take a ride. When I got to the station and pulled out my

The Chrysler Museum of Art
camera, I realized that the battery was back at the house being charged. I turned around, walked home, retrieved the battery and set out again for this adventure. I had to wait about 20 minutes for a train that was standing room only (I once saw a streetcar in Prague that was packed so tightly it appeared as if the faces of some of the passengers were smashed up against the windows). Being slightly claustrophobic, I swore never to board a train in that city. I made two stops before exiting the Tide downtown. I think I'll wait until the the free rides end, which has been extended another full week due to the ebullient crowds.
A train arrives downtown

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