Planes, Train & Automobiles–NYC, LA & Indy–NYC Wins!

February 27th, 2013

I’m currently in Los Angeles which is a nice change from the dreary weather back east.  The city is still glowing from the Oscar fun—sunny and in the 70’s as usual nearly all year around. I’m loving it because the worst time for weather in New York is mid-February to mid-March when it seems as if winter will never end.  The best thing to do is get a change of scenery and go west!

All is well here until you get stuck in traffic, which basically happens any time you want to go anywhere besides across the street, since travel here takes forever. In Indianapolis, you have to drive everywhere, too, but Hoosiers are courteous drivers.  NYC is incredibly easy to get around once you master the trains.  LA, on the other hand, is terrible.  You have to take a car everywhere.  A taxi will routinely cost forty to fifty dollars and renting a car and driving yourself is a nuisance.

It’s bad enough that you spend most of your time in LA in a car, but the road rage and turn signals that only seem to signal left (I guess that’s not a total surprise—everything goes left in California) make driving a miserable experience.

For one thing, you can just forget anyone letting you go first at a four way stop.  Not gonna happen because people here are in a big hurry even though they really aren’t getting anywhere no matter what they do.  Still, that doesn’t curb the “screw you” attitude.  In a way, I don’t entirely blame them.  Some of these poor souls spend two hours each way driving to work.  That’s four hours out of their day in the car.  What’s the point?  It had better be a pretty darn good job to spend that much time behind the wheel.

New Yorkers have it much better.  They may spend a couple of hours on a train getting to work, but they can text, put on make-up, drink coffee, and chat it up on the phone.  Unfortunately, many of these activities are attempted on California freeways too, which makes this place doubly scary and unpleasant.  Yesterday, I had to make the decision to stay put instead of going to a meeting because of all the gridlock.  Some Californians deal with this by pushing meetings into late afternoon and evening.  I don’t care if it’s beautiful here.  Who wants a never ending workday?

In LA, it’s all about the car—the fancier and more expensive—the better.  I guess I understand because if you’re going to live in your car, you probably want it to be nice.  However, when you spend more on your car than your apartment, you have to start to wonder if something is a little out of whack in your life.

When it comes to airports, Indianapolis wins hands down.  They have a beautiful airport that’s easy to navigate with affordable parking.  LAX is a dump, and JFK is just okay.  They are improving JFK, which is nice, and the train at JFK into the city is terrific.

In fact, the train system in NYC is what puts that city on top when it comes to transportation.  It’s convenient and efficient.  Not only can you go anywhere in the city easily, but you can also go to DC, Boston, and Philly by practically hopping aboard.  It opens up options for the weekend as though you live at an amusement park.  For a gal from Indiana, that’s pretty awesome.

Transportation does affect quality of life whether it’s where you choose to live or to visit.  While LA may be the City of Angels, when it comes to transportation, it’s Hell on Earth.  Indianapolis is easy and pleasant.  NYC is clearly best.

In my book, NYC gets a AAA rating, Indianapolis gets a B, and LA gets a big ole F.



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