Football via Rail (in the US)

The Challenge: Recreate a typical UK football weekend in the US using mass transit. The destination was Foxborough, Massachusetts for a New England Revolution versus Orlando City SC match.

The Route: Metro-Morth to Bridgeport; Amtrak to Route 128 in Massachusetts.

The Verdict: All the trains ran on or close to schedule. Amtrak is clean and the crew is friendly. The equipment is OLD and it’s the kind of old that means cleaning doesn’t really help. The passenger cars are dark, and the windows are shockingly small. It’s still pricey which means driving still represents the most affordable option (pity). My guess is Brightline has modern, well-lit cars (and stations). The stations serving Metro-North and Amtrak aren’t exactly Richmond and Waterloo but the station at Route 128 is interesting. Route 128 is at eastern tip of Dedham and Westwood in Massachusetts and therein lies the challenge. Many of these MLS stadiums are in the middle of nowhere and at mixed use facilities¹ so the last mile is a pain in the neck. I spent a king’s ransom using rideshare services to ferry between the station > hotel > and the “football” grounds. Hotel availability was also a challenge so proximity to Foxborough was also a challenge. The good news is Route 128 is close to a giant outdoor mall so food, etc. was within walking distance. And how American is a station that’s close to a giant outdoor mall versus cultural landmarks like museums and churches?

In a perfect world football venues are located within walking distance of the city centre and train terminus, but this is unrealistic (Breed idea notwithstanding) in the US. This was a good trip overall to satiate by footie craving but one I’m unlikely to try again without a hotel closer to Foxborough and/or the Brompton.

Disclaimer: I walked from Bournemouth to Poole NOT knowing local transit options SO it’s conceivable there was at least local rail options between Route 128 and Dedham.

Can We Cycle the “Last Mile”? (HT)
San Francisco Mayor London Breed floats idea of DEMOLISHING Westfield mall in crime-ridden downtown and replacing it with a sports stadium – as she brushes off city’s retail apocalypse because ‘a lot of people’ shop online (Daily Mail)

¹This is a subject for another post.

Weekend 568.0 (Sparsa Collegit)

There’s a battle ahead, many battles are lost…but you’ll never see the end of the road…while you’re traveling with me.

(1) Impressions of a Soulless New Airport (The Imaginative Conservative)

“There is little architectural daring or upward movement. It is a place without a sense of place—it could be anywhere or nowhere.”

(2) Folding bike-maker Brompton rides towards £20m stake sale (Sky News)

(3) Scan from Helvetica and the New York City Subway System by Paul Shaw

Architectural Drawing. 86th St-Lexington Av Station Modernization of Control Areas

(4) A Quick & Dirty Guide to the Middle Ages (The Imaginative Conservative)

It was the Christiana Res Publica. “I saw monarchy without tyranny, aristocracy without factions, democracy without tumult, wealth without luxury,” Erasmus later wrote, idealizing the past. “Would that it had been your lot, divine Plato, to come upon such a republic.” Perhaps most important, medieval man believed that he knew his place in the Economy of Grace, in God’s universe.

(4a) Women’s rights…medieval style… (The History Jar)

The Brothers York by Thomas Penn (Pages 491-92)

Weekend 488.1

(1) Brompton warns of price increases in midst of production scale up (Bike Europe)

(1a) The entire world is ‘awash in a sea of debt’ (YouTube)

(2) The Mendacity of Joe Biden and the Ruling Elites (American Thinker)

“The ruling elites in their headfirst dash to transform the culture have aligned themselves with the radical left whose sole objective is to centralize all governmental and economic power in a hybrid socialist federal government with themselves, and not the current ruling class, in permanent control.”

(3) Stock markets are telling us we’re saved, but history has a warning (Yahoo News)

Weekend 486.1 (A Tale of Two Cities)

My morning ride was to central London (the area around Old Street) whilst my afternoon ride included the bucolic streets of Ham and the hills of Richmond Park. There’s a German Delicatessen (Hansel and Pretzel) on my afternoon route that’s excellent. I also had lunch at Stein’s (bratwurst) and was last there with the Orange/Blue Brompton after the Brompton World Championship in 2014.

Update: I walked to King Henry’s Mound in Richmond Park today. It’s the highest point in the park and offers (via telescope) an unobstructed view of St. Paul’s. There’s a survey marker / stone near the telescope indicating that St. Paul’s is about 10 miles to the east. The day before I was close to St. Paul’s and took this photo from Southwark Bridge.

(1) Ham House & Garden
(2) River Thames: from Cotswolds to London
(3) Route Plan Roll Cycle Map (Mapping London)

Weekend 484.1

(1) Feeling the strain: stress and anxiety weigh on world’s workers (Financial Times)

(1a) Biden sleepwalks into a stagflation nightmare (Asia Times)

(2) Brompton Bicycle “I’m getting on” by Antidote (Campaign)

(2a) Barcelona Brompton Folding Bike

(3) Renovations (According to Hoyt)

“Which is why mostly they live in ruins and grub in dirt and talk about their great purpose and congratulate themselves on no longer having any of that icky stuff in the walls. Because they no longer have walls.

Human society doesn’t work like that. Mostly what human society is built on is other human society. And I know I joke — a lot — about how Rome never fell, it just exported itself.”

(4) Gibraltar: The History of the Rock Across 14 Sieges (YouTube)

Weekend 381.0

‘Even though an old proverb says, “too much special knowledge makes you stupid” I, as a craftsman, must say that having gone through an apprenticeship in the field of applied art, gives me certain advantages in the difficult art of design, as compared to those who partly or completely work from theoretical knowledge.’ – Kay Bojesen 

(1) Made in the U.K. (YouTube)

(2) A Water Lily by Jia Peng Fang