The Things I Saw From the Train Window


I’m feeling quite proud of myself as I made it into LA three times by train this month to see art. Now that’s more like it.

I went in on Sunday to catch at least one of the two art fairs going on (artLA and LA Art Fair); my friend Ellen picked me up from Union Station and whisked me over to the Santa Monica Airport where we browsed for several enjoyable hours in Barker Hanger.

I caught the same 4:30 train home that I caught every other time this month. I don’t know if the route is becoming more familiar to me, but suddenly I felt I could SEE much more. In the past I’ve been taking in the landscape, this time I caught more human activity.

I saw a boy, laughing, but in the middle of a major face plant in his back yard. Just that – him skidding across the grass face first, and then he was gone.

I saw a small dome tent inside a drainage tunnel of the LA River.

I saw a dozen men in identical black leather outfits, lined up to race their motorcycles on a deserted road.

And most disturbing, I saw a man lying face down by the railroad tracks on the other side of the river. His bright blue backpack was next to him on the ground. At the time I thought, “Train-hopper listening for an oncoming train” but later I worried I’d seen a dead man.

None of this was caught by my camera of course. The video on top is just as we are entering Los Angeles – you can see the skyline appear on the left side.

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