Transportation and Pop Culture Geekery curated by Sirinya Matute

CTY mini-reunion at the nuptials of the late Tom Ryan’s younger brother Danny’s wedding. Quality bonding time again with the Boring Brothers, Stumpy, and their former housemate Bryce. Also, we got to sit at the same table as former cast members of the show Hell’s Kitchen along with a former coworker of Danny’s (now an attorney).

I wish nothing but love and best wishes to the married couple. Danny, we are in your corner. Thank you to Dana’s family for their generosity, in hosting the affair (in which there was ample food), kindly encouraging (or allowing) Dan to invite us, and for warmly welcoming us to their hometown.

I officially love the greater Danbury area, for its decorated history, its train museum, its ice hockey rink, the delicious Brazilian buffet, AND all of the people who kindly asked me if I was lost on Main Street (I was). One Danbury resident even offered me a ride to my destination, which was kind of him since he was part of my conversation to find a cab to the wedding hotel while we were checking out at a Walgreens.

Congrats to the newly married couple. L’chaim!

From Tom Ryan’s younger brother Danny’s wedding


Chef Dan from HK 11 just got married!! Mazel Tov! @gordongram @hellskitchenfox @danhk11

From Danny Ryan’s wedding—Stumpy and I were there too.


Dan & Dana, thanks for letting me part of your special day!! #married#hkalum#bestedddingever


It’s the 2013 Tour LaBonge. See the full-sized flyer on our Scribd page.


In our new Sesame Street comic, Super Grover teaches Elmo the trick to being a super hero. 


In our new Sesame Street comic, Super Grover teaches Elmo the trick to being a super hero. 

What’s the difference between the two pictures? Debra posted this to the UCLA Transportation Facebook page. 

Brought to you by Caltrans, the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies and Juan Matute.

Juan was tasked with supporting UCLA’s work on Caltrans Statewide Transit Strategic Plan by talking to transit providers to learn cost-effective ways to run buses, trains and whatnot. Ultimately, Caltrans and UCLA agreed that they needed to put all of this good information somewhere other than in a binder to collect dust. And luckily for all of us transportation researchers / planners/ scholars /geeks, Caltrans supported the creation of TransitWiki, which currently contains primarily best practices research from California agencies BUT has the funding, infrastructure and oversight to solicit and manage content from other contributors (what I call the one-percenters of social media, the folks who find it extremely gratifying to contribute to a particular social media site or page or community). 

Other people I respect think this is cool too, like the librarian for the ITS based at Berkeley, Kendra Levine, and Jarrett Walker of The Human Transit blog. Danielle Salomon, a librarian at UCLA, and the good people behind @UCLACommute also thought this was cool and tweeted it out awhile back.

I so wish I were in Northampton right now.

This is because Smith College is hosting an amazing panel of children and young adult authors tomorrow night that includes two of my favorite writers, Ann M. Martin and Virginia Euwer Wolff.

Ann Martin is a 1977 grad of Smith College and is known by women of my generation as the author of the Baby-Sitters Club series and off its various spin-offs. Say what you want about the books, but I read them voraciously. I grew up in Los Angeles, far away from Smith College, but put it on my list of colleges to research when I was 12 after reading Ann’s  descriptions of her life in Gardiner House in her biography. So, I like to say that I’m at Smith thanks in part to Ann Martin.

The panel is timed in part to align with Ann Martin’s plans to donate her literary papers to the Smith College Archives. Generations of women ahead of me will be able to draw on primary resources to research topics like, how did Ann Martin’s descriptions of tweenhood circa 1987-1994 informed expectations of modern life amongst older millennials and Gen Yers in their courses in Women’s Studies and Anthropology. Or, in my case, try to codify and rectify Martin’s halcyonic descriptions of small-New England city/suburban life in Stoneybrook in reality circa 1992. I actually sought out a copy of this Baby-Sitters Club bible that Scholastic produced in order to show Nina Antonetti, the professor who taught a class I took on suburban landscape design, this hand-drawn map of Ann Martin’s Stoneybrook, with its heavy foliage and its curvilinear streets. 

Virginia Euwer Wolff ‘59 is also a Smith alumna. Ms. Wolff wrote young adult fiction, including one book that I enjoyed a lot as a tween called The Mozart Season. The Mozart Season follows 12-year-old Allegra Shapiro (what a name!) during the summer before she enters 8th grade, which includes practicing for a violin competition, turning pages at a series of outdoor concerts on the behalf of her parents’ orchestra-member friends, and  calling into radio shows to dedicate songs to a 14-year-old boy with whom she engages in a mild flirtation. All tame, given that the book was published in 1992. But, it should be pointed out, the book was SET IN PORTLAND. In 1992. Which, really, just means that The Mozart Season was more of a instructional guide on how to live the Dream of the 90s in Portland. Yes, indeed. 

But because library paperback editions I read of Ms. Wolff’s books made no mention of her attending Smith, I did not know after I finished at Smith that Ms. Wolff and I could be kindred spirits. So sad! But I do owe much to Ms. Wolff’s books, for her descriptions of Portland informed my great interest in visiting that city, which I did, in 2002. And Portland in the summer was glorious. Naturally, I went visited every place described by name in the book.

i approve of such things. LOVE that sticker.


Лимонады (Taken with Instagram at ЦПКиО им. Горького (Gorky Park))


Red Keds Xootr’ing (Taken with Instagram at Университет)