Friday, October 09, 2009

My sweetie knows me too well!!

He decided to get me a special surprise the other day, and here's what he brought home:

Yep, it's Transit Maps of the World: The world's first collection of every urban train map on Earth!! :D

Not only does it have the transit map of every city in the world with an urban train system (real or planned), but it also has historical maps of the oldest subway systems and how they evolved.

I was interested in the usual suspects (London, New York, Paris), but was even more intrigued by the historical maps of the subway system in Berlin, where pre-WWII lines crossed from West to East and back! For decades (before the wall came down) some mostly-west-side lines would pass through "ghost stations" in East Berlin where the subway train just wouldn't stop. Now the Berlin subway system is, of course, re-integrated. It actually makes me curious to visit Berlin -- especially now that my German is improving.

(Don't ask me to say anything in German yet, though -- my best sentence in high German is still "Ich möchte eine Fahrkarte nach Heidelberg, bitte" [I'd like a ticket to Heidelberg, please]. Not that I've ever been there. And my best sentence in Swiss German is the one that translates as "There are many frogs in Switzerland." I'd spell it out in Swiss German for you, but there's no standardized spelling. I'd prefer to be saying "There are many cows in Switzerland" -- to impress my Swiss-German friends -- but the word for frog is easier to pronounce. Anyway, both statements are true.)

So how did my sweetie guess that I'd be fascinated by all these transit maps? And that I'd sit down and read them all, just for fun? Maybe he got his clue when we were in Boston this past weekend and I was contemplating the subway map on the wall, to see how many lines they have and how they connect to each other, etc.

My kids explore Boston!

Of course, I guess he doesn't really have to be paying all that close of attention to have noticed my crazy fascination with urban transit. It was still thoughtful, though.

Here's one more picture to prove that we did come out and explore above ground in Boston. A little. ;^)

A cute bronze sculpture illustrating all of the local wildlife that you'd see in Boston, if only that nature stuff hadn't been paved over.


groovesocket said...

I to am fascinated by urban transit. I want this book. We've been to Berlin, but didn't ride the Subway. We did a bike tour instead.

kuri said...

That sounds like a cool book. I've loved subway maps ever since I lived in Tokyo.

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Shock!!!

That's cool too, but it's too bad you didn't get a chance to check out the subway. ;^)

Hey Kuri!!!

Yeah, it's really fascinating, and a fun read! Since reading it, I've definitely improved my urban-transit-trivia ranking. ;^)

Rebecca said...

Oh, hey, I just remembered you're in Princeton now - I'm going to New York on Sunday (the 11th) and I'll be there for about a week. If by any chance you're going to be in the city, let me know!

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Rebecca!!!

Excellent!!! Email me: chanson dot exmormon at gmail dot com

Varina said...

That is such a sweet gift, and it really does sound fascinating. I think it's really interesting how some urban train systems are world famous and storied, like how the London Underground map is apparently the most reproduced schematic in the world, or how those Art Deco Metro signs are shorthand for Paris.