Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Beyond Comparison

Penn Station, New York, N.Y. , 6:45 p.m. I mill around by the big board that announces train tracks. It's a people watcher's paradise: a mix of commuters and long-distance travelers, people with big bags and small bags and pillows and backpacks. People with coffee and salads and bagels to eat in the train or take  back to the folks at home. Every so often a train will be announced, followed by a predictable swarm to E10 or W13 or whichever gate has been tagged.

Fast forward three hours. Union Station, Washington, D.C., 10 p.m. The train arrives right on time to a station that is far too empty, far too clean. It even smells of disinfectant.

I could go on ... but I won't. It's home now. Or at least the gateway to home. And it's almost beyond comparison, the two cities are so different.

Let me just say this, to paraphrase Samuel Johnson or whoever said it of London ... He who is tired of New York is tired of life.

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