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marta

Oct 22 2012

Quiet Time

by Jnai W

I take my quiet time, my moments of relative solitude, any way I can get them.  Often my me-time takes place as I’m commuting to work. Usually that means MARTA, with a commute time that clocks in at just under 3 hours. ( I know that seems crazy and unreasonable—well, it is but nothing gets the blood flowing like chasing a bus or weaving around idlers-on-the-subway escalators at the crack of dawn.)

The truth of the matter is that I rather like mass transit. It’s not perfect but it affords me some time to do things that nurture my creative streak while preparing for the day ahead. While I’ve taken my people-watching down to the barest minimum—just enough to keep an eye out for the shiftier of my transit mates—I can still take the time to journal, read or listen to music.

I’ve been reading the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts In a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I’m reading a book about being a quiet type in a loud type society. Lately, and I’m not sure why, I’ve been reading this book while listening to decidedly extroverted, noise pop like M.I.A, Sleigh Bells or someone else. Oddly enough I listen to it as loud as I can within reason—loud enough to overcome the roar of the bus’ engine but soft enough to not be called out by the bus driver/noise ordinance cop who’s in no mood to hear for my “teenager music”. (“Whaddya mean you don’t wanna hear my Dizzee Rascal, sir?)

I find myself relating to alot of my fellow introverts featured in this book. I land on passages about Don, a Harvard Business School student who worries that his mild, reserved demeanor is losing him ground in the aggressively extroverted culture of his school. While reading, I’m hearing the catchy synthy dance pop of singer Santigold singing a lyric to her song “L.E.S Artistes”—”Fit in so good the hope is that you cannot see me later/ You don’t know me I am an introvert, an excavator”. It’s an apropos lyric that swirls around me, inculcating me for a moment in time in a cubicle of communal solitude, if that makes any sense.

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Dec 2 2008

Car-less in Atlanta…

by Jnai W

I don’t have a car. And I live in Atlanta.

Those are two sentences that, to the casual observer, should not be uttered by anyone…in a single breath.  But they are true of many Atlantans, myself included.  Whether one is willfully car-less in our fair, sprawling city or whether one is financially restricted to public transportation (or a combination of both, such as I am), being without a car in Atlanta is not easy…but not impossible.

The most obvious and well-known option throughout Metro Atlanta is MARTA, with service in Dekalb and Fulton counties. MARTA isn’t perfect–limited bus services in many areas–but it is a feasible option. Planning ahead is imperative but, thankfully, that has gotten much easier with their website’s Trip Planner feature.  Other mass transit options have come about over the past few years and, in conjuction with MARTA, can really help you navigate around the city.  Buslines serving the Buckhead district (the Buc) as well as university communities such as Emory and Georgia Tech can also be a big help.

A great place for information about alternative transportation is the website for Citizens For Progressive Transit.  Here you’ll find all the latest news about developments in Atlanta’s transit system (for example, What is Concept 3 and what does it mean to Atlanta?  There’s a meeting about it tonight!).  You’ll also find links to informative websites about other means of car-less transportation, such as the Path foundation for bikers, runners and walkers and P.E.D.S, a site about pedestrianism (is that a word?).

I’ve been surviving carlessly here in A-Town for about 5 years now…and I’m strongly considering giving up the ghost and getting my own set of wheels.  But until I do, the aforementioned methods and sources are decent ways to get where you need to go without a car or at least getting close enough and hoofing it the rest of the way–thanks, MARTA.

Seriously…I am curious about Concept 3.  I should try and get to that meeting.  Could someone give me a lift?

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