Monthly Archives: May 2015

Cars Are Like Television

Cars are like television, in that you can’t ever get completely away from them. In a scene from the 1994 Quentin Tarantino movie Pulp Fiction, Samuel L. Jackson’s character tells his partner in crime, played by John Travolta, about something from a certain television show. “I don’t watch TV,” Travolta says, dismissively. “Yes, but you […]

My Life in Cars

My parents always had two cars. We were a family of seven, plus assorted dogs and cats, and the cars were usually station wagons, parked in the circular driveway in front of our three-story house in the Philadelphia suburbs. My father taught at a high school in the city, and my two oldest sisters and […]

Lessons from the Wreckage

On the day that an Amtrak train jumped the rails last week in Philadelphia, leaving eight people dead, some 90 Americans died in car crashes you didn’t hear about. Ninety more died the next day, and the day after that. None of them made the news. I hadn’t planned to write about trains again so […]

The Bicycle Accident

A few years ago, I won a case in small claims court that I maybe should have lost. Allstate Insurance coughed up a couple hundred dollars toward the purchase of a new bicycle after my old one was crunched in a collision with a car. I should have lost because I was riding the wrong […]

It Takes a Train to Cry

In my mid-twenties I moved to California sight unseen. I bought a one-way plane ticket from Boston to San Diego and never looked back. The first time I drove across the country was west-to-east, against the grain of American history. I drove alone in a car full of cassette tapes and assorted belongings. I stayed […]