The view from the train is decidedly bleak. It's not particularly surprising, but these sights are more disturbing and clear than you'd expect them to be at 70 mph. It seems that nothing that backs up to the tracks is ever in working order, save the pristine depots that were once the gateways to their respective small towns. The northeast corridor is a series of warehouses with those tiny broken windows they don't even seem to make anymore. The hills are full of garbage truck vomit, of plastic tubing and dolls with sooty faces and fully intact toilets thrown over the backyard dropoffs that frame these single family homes. There's a woman dragging a large branch down the middle of the street with three men around her. Two men meeting in headlights in a remote parking lot at dusk. The graffiti that swallows these buildings is more destructive than beautiful, like an acid wash on the model faces of these hardy brick buildings. One has to wonder what these places looked like in their heyday, when women wore heels and hats on these urban streets. Next up, a mid-city billboard that asks residents to Experience God. Which is interesting, because looking around, I'm not sure I see him anywhere.
March 14, 2008