Friday, October 22, 2010

Falling Trains and Breaking Waves

If you're ever on the #7 elevated subway line going into Manhattan from Queens, there's a rather sharp turn the train makes after the LIC stop that almost goes into a 45 degree bank as if on a large scale, slow motion roller coaster. Everyday commuters think nothing of it as they drag their worn and weary, half wakened DNA into the big city for yet another day's bout of making a meager living. Traditionally, this is not a line frequented by Wall Street insiders, and more likely traversed by those that clean their offices and make their meals.

One day, I noticed what seemed a relative newcomer seated with a look of increasing puzzlement on her face as we began the turn in question. The look quickly transitioned into apprehension, then wide eyed terror as the turning train proceeded into its 45 degree list. Said woman jumps unto her feet, frantically waving her arms and proclaiming with absolute clarity of voice and conviction, "Quick! Everybody to one side of the car!"

Of course, she meant well. She wanted to save us all by balancing the train so we wouldn't all plunge unto the rush hour traffic well below us. First Time Tourist Single Handedly Saves Train Load Of NYC Commuters! Looking about, I was the only person other than herself who even bothered to lift our sorry, if somewhat bemused, heads...

I recall this only because the first time I visited San Francisco, I was absolutely amazed and enthralled by the billowing fog that rolled down the hills on my bus ride from the airport to the city proper. Billowing waves of fog rolling down hills as if waves of water against the seashore- and I couldn't understand how everyone else was not every bit as mesmerized. What the?

This video gives one a pretty good sense, and even though it's speeded up, when you experience it in person first hand, the effect is even more intense and surreal in real time.

The Unseen Sea from Simon Christen on Vimeo.

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