Stories From the Bench: Down in Richmond Watching Trains
I recently took a trip down to Richmond Virginia. Although I only live about two hours away from the city, I had never actually visited been there before. I had always been told that Richmond had a nice amount of street art and graffiti and I wanted to see for myself.
I drove down on the weekend and ended up cruising up and down streets looking for any spots. There were tags and throw ups of course, but nothing that really caught my eye. But then, off in the distance, I saw the letters MTC on a train. I drove towards the freight and turned onto a gravel road that towards an abandoned parking lot that must have been used by the city as a place to store their snow trucks and bulldozers. I parked, grabbed my camera and a marker, and got out of my car.
I walked up a path that led right on to the tracks. Strolling along the tracks I paused to look at the different pieces and monikers written along the trains. There was plenty of good stuff, but the El Kamino tag was what stood out most to me. It was not what a stereotypical tag looks like. It had flair and it had its own personality to it. A semi calligraphic style. I walked the tracks for a bit and then heard the train turn on and knew that it was time to go. I walked back to my car and watched as the train slowly rolled off in route to another stop somewhere. Names like Hunt, Lyes, Evots, and Sigh crept by, as well as tags too small or faded to see.
Living in DC, with all the cameras and police constantly watching the city, it can be hard to find a nice place to just sit, chill and bench. You always have to be aware of your surroundings, and be on your guard just in case something goes wrong. But Richmond felt different from that. I didn’t feel like I had to worry about any railroad workers or cops coming and yelling at me for trespassing and what not. It was nice, if even just for a moment, to be at peace and walk alone on the tracks without a care in the world.