SSI 2014—a Suitable Beginning

I suppose I’m glad I’m on this train. . .
— John Cale, “Half-Past France”

Here’s the trick to show reporting: accomplish as much as possible ahead-of-time.

Thus my decision, while riding the Amtrak train from Albany, NY to Montreal for this year’s Salon Son et Image, to write about the journey itself, and to illustrate my post with a photo of something I’d seen along the way.

But that turned out to be easier said than done. Photographing beaver lodges, ice-fisherman, or even the bald eagles one sees on this route is tricky, especially when the train is moving, which it sometimes is. I was taken with the customs depot at the border—who could resist the small, windowless buildings, the automated security cameras, the razor wire tinseled around the rooflines?—but photographing them, as I learned in past trips, is an exquisitely stupid idea, as people who are cleverer than I about traveling would surely know.

Thus we are left with the Amtrak station at Rouses Point, NY, which is closer to Canada than Ted Cruz. Travelers in Europe, Japan, China, and numerous other parts of the civilized world: Compare and contrast.

deckeda's picture

I was about to say something about how we Yanks allocate funds to other types of infrastructure instead. But then I rememebered we don't actuallly do that, either.

volvic's picture

Have made this trip from NYC to Mtl by train, it is quite pleasant (and cheap), until you hit customs, which takes forever to clear the train.  In my case US customs boarded the train before it entered Canada and then Canadian customs boarded it as it came into Canada.  After 3 hours I was on my way to Montreal.  Never again! Enjoy the show look forward to the reports.   

Rick Tomaszewicz's picture

Do you really want all that other stuff that usually goes along with better public infrastructure?  

jonahsdad's picture

Just in case you are not being ironic:

Positives:  You can get from here to there faster and easier.  A better functioning economy because people and freight can move around more easily.  The water is clean.  Faster internet access.  More reliable electrical service.  Schools that aren't crumbling. 

Negatives?  Sorry, can't think of any.

Slightly more ideologically biased:  create economic growth, put the unemployed to work (how sad that that is ideological...),  and pay for it with 30 Year T-bills which you can sell today at 3.5%. 

monetschemist's picture

is what kind of speakers those black towers are in the parking lot?



Briandrumzilla's picture

I cannot decrypt the Ted Cruz comment. What is the meaning?