It's been less than a week since the Silver Line has opened, and we decided to "check it out," as the kids haven't said for years, to see what it's all about. Come with us on our magical journey!
9:28am. Arrive at the Kiss or Disgruntled Half-Nod, Depending on Your Relationship Status, and Ride. There's a fence between us and the so-called "bus vault," which takes us a minute or two to figure out how to navigate (pro tip: walk until there's no fence).
As vaults go, this one is pretty nice--airy, almost. We feel sorry for the bus drivers that have to make a 180-degree turn in that turnaround, though. We'll take the over-under on the first of those yellow posts in the foreground being knocked over at two weeks.
9:31am. We make it to the walkway across the Toll Road. Wait, what's this?
Nice of them to put a couple of seats halfway across, for those who want to take a moment to relax and smell the diesel exhaust as they view the splendor of four lanes of traffic directly below.
9:34am. On the platform. The anticipation is palpable.
9:39am. We're underway! The Toll Road zips by on both sides, but our mighty Silver Stallion is (almost) keeping up with 70mph traffic.
A bit of graffiti on a Toll Road bridge spotted from the window: "Bitch-Ass Highway." Yeah, that's about right.
9:44am. Like a metallic chariot, the Silver Line rises into the air, crossing the
bitch-ass highway Toll Road and flying over Tysons Corner. The view is.... magical.
THE EMERALD CITY, only with better midscale retail.
GRITTY. Wait, are we at Nationals Park already?
9:59am As our train makes the sweeping turn to rejoin the Toll Road after transversing Tysons, it makes a prolonged squealing noise that sounds like Satan's tuning fork. We're pretty sure that's nothing to worry about.
10:01am. A fellow passenger surreptitiously takes a sip from his bottle of heavily sugared iced tea. YOU ARE BREAKING THE SOCIAL CONTRACT. WE ARE JUDGING YOU AND YOUR SNAPPLE.
10:15am. Getting bored. Time to play Guess That Stain.
10:35am. We arrive at our destination, the vaguely PG-13-sounding "Foggy Bottom." Barely able to contain our excitement, we alight from the train to find... a broken escalator. Metro, you never cease to fail to surprise, do you?
4:09pm. Back to Foggy Bottom after a successful day of bomb-strapping dolphins, or whatever government contracting job we've pretended to have all day, kind of like this guy.
4:23pm. There are a lot of stops in this "Arlington" place.
4:25pm. We check our email, pretending we have actual Important Jobs That Require Commuting Downtown, like 97 percent of the other people returning home in our car, and see this missive from Confidential Restonian Operative "Alexis"--"Alexis" of Silver Line Sea Monkeys fame! Sadly, the news isn't good:
I finally rode my bike over to check out the new Reston Station, but I did so alone. The Sea Monkeys are long gone. Yep, I'm that Alexis. They died like 6 months after hatching. I was able to shake the bowl and convince my kids that the dots in the water were alive and swimming but that didn't last forever.
Anyway, while there I checked out the bus schedule and snap a picture of this completely-not-confidence-inspiring section of Route 507 near Hunter Hill, I mean Mill, Rd.
No words -- for the sea monkeys or the sign. Suddenly this Silver Line car has become a slightly sadder place.
Enjoy that long bus ride back to Ashburn, losers! You may have Wegman's, but we've got a friggin' SUPERTRAIN.
4:39pm. Back to Tysons.
We've got to admit it feels pretty damned good to be zipping by all that traffic jamming Rt. 7.
Even our phone is getting in on the Tysons mystique:
West McLean? There's NO SUCH PLACE.
You know the Aston Martin/Bentley dealership just LOVES having to share street frontage with a bus stop.
4:53pm. The loudspeaker informs us that we're arriving at a place called "Willie Reston." Only we don't, as the train comes to an abrupt halt several hundred yards from the station. "Operator dhj gshjsgdhjg," the loudspeaker informs us as the train starts up again.
4:57pm. Hello, Reston.
But where the hell is the rad '80s art we were promised?
Someone who (we hope) isn't a robot hands us this helpful postcard-sized map of the parking garage:
Clear as mud, only we're not sure which level is for the virtuous pagans, and which is for the simoniacs.
We've got to admit, we kind of like the rebar "art." It helps take our minds off the palpable lack of fanciful concrete bollards.
And thus ends our adventure. We're a bit wiser, and definitely considerably sadder, for it.