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Metro Story

By Marc-Yves Regis II

When I found out that I would have to ride the metro into work, I was ecstatic. I had an overly romanticized view of what the ride would be like; I pictured myself holding a warm cup of coffee in one hand, with a crisp copy of The Washington Post in the other. I saw myself being therapeutically rocked by the train and allowing myself to briefly unwind before starting the daily grind. However, I was in for a rude awakening.

The first problem I discovered with the metro was the smell. Woodley Park, in my opinion, is the worst-smelling metro stop in the District. The stench from the nearby crawfish place and the McDonald’s, create a foul smell that is eerily similar to a male locker room after a gym class. On particularly humid days, the wafting smell is pungent and overwhelming, filling my nostrils as I begin my descent.

Getting on the metro itself is another unexpected struggle.  Anyone who rides the red line during their morning commute knows that space is at a premium. There are mornings when I have to force my way into a metro car because I fear that the sliding doors will abruptly close with my arm dangling in them. Once I’m on, I have to stay completely still. Any sort of movement could lead to disaster.  I once tried scratching the back of my head and accidently delivered a sharp elbow to a poor woman’s nose.

In spite of all this, I do love the convenience of riding the metro. In Connecticut, it is impossible to get around without a car. There is public transportation, but it’s not dependable or convenient at all. I do not enjoy driving, so the metro is a godsend for me. I’d rather endure the stench for the rest of my life rather than drive a car on busy streets and sit in traffic for hours. Besides, riding the metro is not all that bad. I may not be able to read the Post, but my neighbors’ texts provide just as much entertainment.

Thank you, Mr. Metro Man

By Christy Flom

There is no good mode of transportation, but every option is available – from bikes, to cars to buses and even trains. Plus, people seem to be impenetrable to sweating from the sun and humidity. Ah the humidity. This heavy and sticky sensation that drenches me the second I walk outside may be the sole reason I can never permanently live in or around D.C. But perhaps fall and the mild winter will change my mind. Coming from Detroit, a winter without heavy snowfall is unimaginable, but I hear it can be quite nice walking around without a parka, neck warmer, hat, mittens, and two pairs of pants on at all times.

But I didn’t come to D.C. to be a weather analyzer; I came to learn about creating, editing, and delivering media content. I will admit, my second reason for coming is to investigate in all my spare time if events seen in House of Cards actually occur on a daily basis, but my first mission is to find the metro station where Kevin Spacey pushed Kate Mara into an oncoming train. Which thus prompts my second mission of forever avoiding that station and men in suits with big hats at night.

As an intern reporter at Roll Call, I take the red line to Union Station on a daily basis. The Metro is where I found my happy place – and I owe it all to one announcer. He is not the voice I hear every morning listing off the stops and transfer lines along my route, but when he’s in charge I know it is going to be a great day. I was on my way to explore the Pentagon City mall when I first heard his voice. It was the perfect day thanks to the happy metro announcer who so very clearly let us all know which stop was what rather than mumbling into the mic.

Let me describe the way the announcer speaks, as I am sure no on can understand the impact this man has already had on my life. He speaks like an auctioneer on A&E’s Storage Wars: fast, and yet oddly calming. You can tell he makes the most of his job and commits each ride to brightening the days of passengers, whether my hero realizes it or not.

On the second day of my internship I purposefully took out my headphones that I usually wear on the metro to avoid awkward silences and stares to listen to him announce each stop. The effect it had on my day was nothing short of magical. I hopped off at union station to the sound of “Have a fantastic day everybody”, and I already knew the day was going to be wonderful. That morning I got to put together a story on WordPress for another reporter and then publish my first (albeit short) article for the site. But hey, I’m official now, and I owe it all to Mr. Metro Man.

Yes, I know I need to find new things in life that give me happiness; however, navigating DC and Roll Call’s work atmosphere has made me realize that it’s the little things in my life that will make the biggest impact on my days. So for now, thank you Mr. Metro Man for making my travels a little bit easier to comprehend and substantially enhancing my day. And, to quote an elderly couple I overheard on the metro, “you deserve a raise.”

Originally posted September 22, 2016