Monday, June 11, 2012

commuting as an art - 10 songs to add to your commuting playlist

Precision Commuting. City dwellers, do you do it? In Washington DC, where I lived for seven years, commuting was a very orderly affair. If you've ever traveled there, you know that there is one golden rule, "walk left, stand right" on the escalators. But beyond that, bus riders line up at stops in order of arrival. Smart trip cards ready. Never hesitate. Before you pause, step aside. Never stop moving. 

It's a quiet affair, much quieter than any other city's metro that I have been on. Everyone is dressed well. Everyone is quiet. Some have headphones. Most are reading The Express. The rest are reading books. 

Eventually you pick up strategy. Walking another 5 minutes up the route to ensure a seat before a particularly busy stop. Grabbing a spot that will ensure that you will be first to get off of the bus once you arrive at the Metro. (As a Glover Park resident, I was a D2/Dupont Circle North/Red Line girl.) The skip/run down the escalator. In heels. In the rain. The continual mastery of a subtle set of commuting skills. Shaking off your umbrella halfway down the North Entrance of the Dupont Circle Metro Stop. Closing it before you get to the bottom. The pride of being able to climb the entire set of stairs up at the end of your day. No stopping. 

Eventually you figure out where to stand, so that you are at the precise center of a set of doors of the next arriving metro train. Factoring in 6 or 8 cars, and which car you'd like to be getting out of for an ideal departure at your destination stop. (Hint: look at the cars on the opposite platform. Nine times out of ten,  where their doors land will align with where your doors will land.)

*image via

And finally, it grows in to an art. Eventually I had developed a playlist ideal for my morning commute. A perfect soundtrack, if you will, for the tourist dodging, train catching, zig zagging, quick paced movement of my daily commute. I loved it, and (I never thought I would say this) I miss it. My daily city commute. 

Click Here for the entire Playlist on Spotify (except Devotchka's How It Ends, above on youtube)   

How do you commute? Train, Bus, Bike, Car, Walk? What are your favorite commuting songs?  Leave a comment and let me know <3 

PS - For a good time in Washington DC, play Lex by Ratatat and time it so you hit the Dupont Circle North escalators at minute 2:35.  There is something so gratifying about running down the escalators at that exact point in the song. Try it. Just divine.  

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