There are a few unavoidable things in life: death, taxes and, for most of us, commuting. This month we want you to take a closer look at your commute, a continuation of our "Public Square" series with KPCC.
Document something beautiful, strange, memorable — something that makes your daily trek remarkable — and share it on Instagram or Twitter with #PSCommute. Even if it's just the mental commute to your home office. Get creative!
You might find that the exercise makes your commute a little longer — but also a little more fun.
Los Angeles. For the first five or six years that Armand Emamdjomeh lived in LA, he didn't even know the city had a subway. Turns out, it's a pretty decent system. It's also something he makes sure to bring visiting friends to, so that when they get back, they can tell their friends they rode the subway — in LA!
New York. There is an unspoken rule on the New York City subway under which fellow passengers commit to avoid eye contact, "look, but not see" each other. Shel Serkin commutes from one Brooklyn neighborhood to another, mostly on the R train along 4th Avenue. New Yorkers are masters of being alone in public and use their commute in many regenerative ways.
Washington, D.C. It takes NPR multimedia producer Kainaz Amaria 30 minutes to commute to work. (Although sometimes it takes a little longer — when light, movement and people converge into a sweet scene.)
Eagle Rock, Calif. Most people dread their Los Angeles commutes, hours of life wasted in white-knuckle freeway traffic. Grant Slater doesn't. He commutes to and from work on the 134, "the most beautiful urban freeway in Southern California."
Anaheim, Calif. Susanica Tam commutes to her part-time job at Disneyland, where she works as a performer in the summer. It takes an hour in morning traffic, so she usually has to leave two hours before her shift starts to be at costuming on time.
Susánica Tam / @susanica
Pasadena, Calif. KPCC photographer Maya Sugarman passes the Pasadena Lawn Bowling Club every morning on her way to work. She drives 35 miles, parks at the nearby train stop and walks to the radio station. The bright green lawn and white outfits always catch her eye.
San Francisco. Once or twice a week, Travis Jensen walks from his home near Glen Park to his office in the Financial District. The walk is exactly 7.1 miles — and along the way, he met Herbert, who was making his own commute to visit his mother at a nursing home, a journey he makes seven days a week, rain or shine.
Travis Jensen /@travisjensen
Cambridge, Mass. Four miles, 45 minutes, in a car. That's one slow commute, but in Boston, where cars, bikes and pedestrians clog the narrow, single-lane streets during rush hour, there's no way around it. Luckily, in October, the colors outside are a source of distraction. After a long workday, Sonia Narang stopped her car to snap this photo in Cambridge.
Sonia Narang / @sonianarang
Athens, Ohio. When Aaron Turner moved into his apartment in Athens, he left the door open and this cat walked right in. A month later, on his daily, 15-minute commute to class at Ohio University, the same cat walked right up to him again and got friendly.
Aaron R. Turner/@ilikevans1
San Luis Obispo, Calif. Karen Grubby is lucky enough to commute less than 5 miles from her house to work in San Luis Obispo. This shot was taken shortly after 5 p.m. on a Friday, and as you can see, traffic is pretty light. Grubby says people like to joke around here — and that the only conflict on the road is deciding who is going first at a four-way stop sign.
Karen Grubby / @mrsgrubby
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Caption, caption, caption! Please include:
WHEN you took the photo (time of day)
DURATION of your commute
WHAT you photographed and WHY
Please tag only one photo on Instagram between now and Oct. 21.
Any image tagged before that date is eligible to be featured on our Instagram account or blogs, KPCC's AudioVision and NPR's Picture Show.
Check in for updates (@npr and @kpcc) and you might see your photo. We're looking forward to traveling with you this month!