In May 2016, two things occurred that greatly affected my life. For starters, I was requested to work part time—just two days a week rather than the full five. Right around the same time, the MTA Expo Line opened, connecting Santa Monica and West LA with Downtown. As I get closer to full retirement, I suddenly find myself with places to go and things to do.
Oh, I could have taken my car, but I would have had to pay a fortune to park it in some narrow lot where it would get badly dented. With a Senior TAP card, I can now go downtown for thirty-five cents (seventy-five cents during rush hour). The train takes me to the 7th Street Metro Center, from where I could take other trains to Long Beach, Pasadena, North Hollywood, and East Los Angeles.
Most important, it let me off just two blocks south of the Central Library with its eight floors of books and its cozy nooks for reading. Then, I found out that I could even take out books that were marked reference only, if I could convince a librarian that I was serious (and I can).
If I had stayed at home instead, even with my face buried in a book, I would only have gotten on Martine’s nerves. Instead, I started the mindfulness meditation classes held on Thursdays at 12:30 pm. I was able to explore Chinatown and Little Tokyo as well as Universal City Walk and South Pasadena; and I have filed away several interesting destinations for possible future trips.
I know many people who not only know nothing about Los Angeles’s public transportation system, but are afraid to try. They are afraid of getting lost or being forced to sit next to a snooling bum.