One thing I will not do is write a "New York is way better than DC" post. I just will not do that. Comparisons between the two cities are moot since the cities are radically different. New York has 16 times the population! The cities have different purposes, different wants, and different needs. Saying one is better than the other is like saying a six-course meal is better than a midnight snack.
That being said, yes, obviously, New York is a better city than Washington.
But I will not write about that! I'd rather focus on the Vamoose. The Vamoose is a cheap bus service. What makes it a cut above the rest of the DC-NY bus lines is its location of departure: Tenleytown! Catching a bus four blocks from your house is significantly more convenient than catching a bus in Chinatown or Union Station.
Unfortunately, next time I make a trip to NYC (granted, it could be a while), I will not be using the Vamoose. Taking this bus was a Hellish experience.
To wit: on the way up to the city, they played Shall We Dance. Hellish doesn't even begin to describe this film. Jennifer Lopez, Richard Gere, ball room dancing! How can this go wrong!?
The best part was when Richard Gere was meeting his overworked wife, played by an under-utilized Susan Sarandon, to share a romantic ballroom dance at her office. It was really quite the dramatic and totally unexpected plot twist. Kind of like the end of An Officer and a Gentleman but with more wrinkles.
Anyways, the entire dance is to the lamest song ever. I have taken the time to copy and paste all of the lyrics. Especially egregious lyrics are in boldface. Really, these lyrics are astonishingly bad.
The book of love is long and boring/No one can lift the damn thing/It's full of charts and facts and figures/ and instructions for dancing/But I/ I love it when you read to me/And you/You can read me anything/The book of love has music in it/In fact that's where music comes from/Some of it is just transcendental/Some of it is just really dumb/But I/I love it when you sing to me/And you/You can sing me anything/The book of love is long and boring/And written very long ago/It's full of flowers and heart-shaped boxes/And things we're all too young to know/But I/I love it when you give me things/And you/You ought to give me wedding rings/And I/I love it when you give me things/And you/You ought to give me wedding rings/And I/I love it when you give me things/And you/You ought to give me wedding rings/You ought to give me wedding rings.
The temptation to put the entire thing in boldface was almost overwhelming, but I needed to find a way to draw special attention to the brilliant line "Some of it is just really dumb." And who doesn't love it when people give me things!? ***
Ok, so, eff you Vamoose for making me watch that.
The ride up was mildly annoying due to the presence of a Jennifer Lopez movie. The ride back was what really drove me over the edge. First, the bus failed to show up on time. It also failed to be 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, or even 59 minutes late. it didn't show up until a full 61 minutes after we were scheduled to leave. The first excuse was bad traffic. The second excuse was the bus's A/C didn't work. So, my friend and I had to stand around Penn Station for an hour twiddling our thumbs. It sucked, but it probably would have sucked less than being stuck in a bus with no A/C.
I was still in a pretty sour mood on the ride back to DC. This was exacerbated when (surprise, surprise) it became apparent that this bus didn't have a working A/C unit either. If you can imagine what it feels like to be stuck in a bus for four hours without a cracked window...take my word for it, it's horrible. Just as bad as I imagined.
So, no more Vamoose. You can't put a person through an hour delay and a non-air conditioned bus ride and expect to keep their business. From now on, Greyhound or bust.
*** UPDATE: Thanks to a reader who informed me that this is a Magnetic Fields song off of 69 Love Songs. I haven't really listened to that album but most of my friends seem to enjoy it. Apparently the song is supposed to be tongue-in-cheek. Well, the Peter Gabrie cover used in Shall We Dance is definitely earnest. Which makes the whole ordeal even lamer.