Many cities have a "Union Station". Toronto, for example, has its
own Union Station. Not that copyright infringement or possible
confusion mattered back in the day when these Union Stations were
built, but each of these stations are unique.
Washington definitely presents a very different commuter centre
than I would expect up north. In Toronto, Union Station was built
for functionality. For Washington, their Union Station doubles as a
tourist attraction. Great use of money, by the way.
Several levels of contradiction.
I can't help but wonder how Union Station could be seen in such a
contradictory light. Whilst I looked up at the most beautiful
sculptures near the ceiling, I then looked down to see a record
store selling punk music. Opposites attract.
Should I be in awe about its spectacular ceiling, or its interesting
selection of restaurants that include the North American favourites
(McDonalds, Starbucks Coffee)? What I did was on the subtle side, a
little troubling. I decided to sit at the rail lobby to watch the
passengers go by.
It was then and there when I saw the Amtrak name in my own eyes.
There was a ticket counter full of confused passengers. A lobby
of people anxiously awaited to be called to their train. A
signboard spoke volumes about the destinations these droves of
people were heading to. It really makes me feel anxious honestly,
though I certainly wasn't travelling by rail.
Observations and Conclusions
Whoever came up with the concept of a union station should give
themselves a pad in the back. Of course, if they have already
deceased, I give full apologies for not realising that.
It really is quite unusual to speak of a transportation hub as a
tourist attraction. But for some reason, down in the capital of
the United States, it can be. This won't certainly change my
stance on how Americans view life and society, but it was quite
an eye opener to see a mall, tourist attraction, and transport hub
under one roof. That is most interesting.
Even when I look back to my trip down to Washington, I feel
quite satisfied seeing one of the city's more flowery and
optimistic places to hang out. Those teenagers in D.C. must
appreciate their surroundings more.
For me, I came home with a happier man.
Briefcase Briefs features interesting places experienced first
hand that are suggested for a quick visit.