I started off the first Monday of the month like I normally do. I hopped on my bike and peddled off to work. I am so glad I decided to do this in October because the weather is perfect for this! The morning was a typical morning at the office but I was looking forward to the lunch hour to go deposit my paycheck and buy a bus pass! At noon, I left the office on my bike and traveled down to Capitol Ave to the Metropolitan Tower. It took me a while to get used to riding on the streets in downtown, but its really not bad. The traffic is fairly slow and besides a few idiots on Broadway, drivers are pretty alert of their surroundings downtown.
From the Metropolitan Tower, I continues down Capitol Ave and pulled into the River Cities Transit Center which is the main hub for the CAT bus system. There were a pretty good number of people there waiting at all the different pavilions for the different bus lines. But It didn’t take me long to find my first (of that day) complaint. No Bike Racks. Maybe they are in the front of the building and I just didn’t see them, I don’t know. But I had to chain my bike up to a garbage bin by the door. No biggie, but you would think a bus system that has bike racks on its busses would have bike racks at their main depot. I got in line to get my 31 day bus pass and handed the lady behind the counter my card. Cash or Check only. Complaint number two. Luckily I had my check book (The last time I wrote a check was over 3 months ago). I would think accepting debit and credit cards would be a big boost for ridership. And I’m sure they’re expensive, but what about a ticketing machine that can issue passes? Reading CAT’s website, tickets can also be purchased at the Regions Bank Building in Little Rock and at the City Services Building in North Little Rock. I was surprised not to see any mention of them being sold at UALR where a couple different busses pass through. But I took my Bus pass and biked back home for a quick lunch and back to work.
Tuesday, after biking to work and working at the office that morning, my friend James and I walked down to Vino’s for lunch. I have been trying not to eat out lately to save some money but when you can get 2 slices of pizza and a water for 3 bucks AND exercise who can say no? Living and working downtown, I’ve come to notice how it is kind of divided in two. There’s downtown east of Broadway, where all the skyscrapers rise above the city, the Rivermarket, Clinton and Heifer Centers and most of the other public amenities reside and the main daily activity occurs. And then there’s downtown west of Broadway, which is not nearly as dense or active but is a great environment all in its own. Thanks to a few jewels like Vinos, Doe’s, Diamond Bear Cothams and a handful of food trucks, West downtown is actually a pretty good walking environment at lunch.
But the highlight of the day was definitely the opening lecture of the Art of Architecture Lecture Series at the Arkansas Arts Center after work. Nicole hopped on her bike and met me up at the office and we rode off together, peddling up to Ninth Street, where traffic was scarce and then out to the Arts Center. The lecture that night was actually a screening of the new documentary, “Clean Lines, Open Spaces. A View of Mid-Century Modern Architecture” I mentioned this film earlier in the Bikitecture entry, when we biked by the old Mountainaire Hotel. But if you get a chance, the final cut will air November 14th, at 9:00 on AETN. I know I’ll be at an architecture watch party! (Yes, I am a nerd). The film highlights a lot of Arkansas’s great examples of Modern Architecture. And we do have a lot! Many of them are probably buildings you have all seen but never stopped to consider or maybe just though, “ewww, that’s ugly”. But the documentary will change your view of them and really make you appreciate what we have here in our state, I promise.