Vans : LUSENET : Hedgehog Talk : One Thread

Kimm, perhaps someday you might explain the workings of the vans you mention in your journal. I have no concept of public transportation that doesn't expect exact change the moment you board, or comes around more often than once an hour. Do they have a set route, or just careen around the city? I just can't seem to get the picture, we have nothing matching what you describe here in the midwest. Dave

-- Dave (, June 23, 2000


Thanks Dave, I was wondering about the same thing..I used to think Kymm drove a Very Large Vehicle into NYC to work each day...I was a bit puzzled that it just seemed to sit around parked by the kerb, and she never had to pay for the meter!

I was flummoxed when it was revealed this van actually picks up passengers, so now I've got this vision of an "Armaguard" type thing, only bigger, crowded with passengers. We have nothing like it in Oz, as far as I know.

I really should get out more..

-- jacqueline (, June 25, 2000.

OK. Picture a "special bus." You know, the kind the "special kids" who wore helmets rode on, when they went to school. You know, those little white buses that are sort of like the bastard child of a very small school bus and a mini ambulette. These things scoot all over Jersey, and provide transportation into the midst of Manhattan.

This is what I've been picturing, when Kymm talks 'bout her work van thing. I could be very wrong. But I also like to picture all the commuters wearing their special white seizure helmets, while Kymm rides next to them, scared, through the wilds of New Jersey.


-- Jen (, June 26, 2000.

We could picture them jazzed up like the jeepneys used in the Philippines, give each passenger their own horn button and a megaphone to curse the other drivers.

-- Dave (, June 26, 2000.

i did want to know, what the difference was between a "van" and a "bus".

now where i live we just got new "supertrams". how kewl is that? check out

-- will (, June 26, 2000.

Hello, I am here to beg, plead ond otherwise subjugate myself to Her Myghty Kymmness to please end the suspense and explain the vans! I'm starting a new job in Manhattan *next week* and have no place to live yet. I like how Weehawken sounds from your lovely descriptions, Kymm, but am concerned about transportation options. Coming from Boston I'm a big fan of public transportation, but this "van" thing is new to me.

Please take pity on a poor refugee who knows nothing about the Greater New York City Metro area, and enlighten her. Oh, and if any of you know any *safe* places to stay for a woman alone in New York, I'd like to know about them too.

Regards to all!

-- Jennifer Wells (, June 27, 2000.

What always seems to amaze me about the "vans" is that they seem to be available 24 hours, 7 days a week.

-- Susan (, June 27, 2000.

Alright, the vans.

If you are going to New Jersey from New York, you have several choices. You can take the PATH, which is the subway, you can take the New Jersey Transit buses, or you can take the vans.

The vans are independently operated small buses, that used to be real vans, mini-vans, which is why people who have been riding them since then still call them the vans. They seat 31 or so, usually, and are white--kind of like the special kids bus, or the ones that take you to the airport.

They operate out of various parking lots on 42nd St, and really only have one stop in New York, though you can jump off early if you like and there are no cops around, and one company's van will take you all the way across town, but I've only hit that one twice and am not certain if I dreamed it or not.

It goes through the tunnel to New Jersey, and when it hits Weehawken, people start yelling out their stops. It's a buck if you are going from somewhere in Jersey to somewhere else in Jersey, and $1.75 if New York is involved. Some van drivers don't like to stop at my corner, apparently thinking that they will get a ticket, but I think they are just being difficult.

I believe that they stop running at 2a, but I have never had to test that, thank goodness. The Jersey Transit buses go all night, so I could still catch one of those if necessary. Really late, though, you sometimes have to wait for centuries for the van to fill up, 'cause it won't move an inch until then.

All cleared up?

-- Kymm Zuckert (, June 27, 2000.

This is *so* bizarre. It's like listening to someone from Arrakis explaining the spice mining process. I mean, logically I can understand that such a service exists and that there is a need for it, but it's so utterly foreign from my own experience that it seems like the height of fiction. Then again some people would think driving a couple blocks to the grocery store is completely nuts.

Thanks for sharing a little of your world, Kymm.

-- DinoNeil (, June 28, 2000.


For me the grocery store is just around the corner and I drive to it!

Your Dune reference was pretty obscure. Just curious, How many people in this forum have read the book, which in my humble opinion was a grand work of science fiction genius?

-- Roger Bixby (, June 28, 2000.

I don't think it was obscure at all! I love with all of my heart, but only got through about six pages of the sequel before I threw it across the room. I don't think I'll ever bother to read the others, but the original is perfect.

-- Kymm Zuckert (, June 28, 2000.

I am that rarest of the rare--the Dune fan that loves the book AND loves the movie and can keep them separate in her mind. :-)

I'm also somewhat of a Dune dork, being able to quote liberally from both book and movie again.

Like the Star Trek movies, only every other Dune book is good.

-- Melissa (, June 28, 2000.

A reference to Dune isn't obscure. Dune is usually one of the few science fiction novels a non-science-fiction reader will have read, along with Fahrenheit 451 and Flowers for Algernon.

Reading about the vans makes me nostalgic for my daily ride in and out of Manhattan on the Staten Island Ferry. I miss late night transportation options. In San Francisco you can take BART or the bus up until midnight, and then too bad, so sad.

-- Lucy Huntzinger (, June 29, 2000.

Actually, my favourite Dune reference is from Sage and Todd back in the day. When they made coffee they would say "The spice must flow".

-- Kymm (, June 29, 2000.

I'm one of those non-SF readers who read Dune. Waaayyy back in high school. And that reference went completely over my head. All I remember is worms and no water.

-- Catherine (, June 29, 2000.

Catherine, Are you saying you don't remember THIS:?

"Oh-h-h, the Calcian girls Will do it for pearls, And the Arrakeen for water! But if you desire dames like consuming flames, Try a Caladanin daughter!"

-- Dave (, June 29, 2000.

Well, I'm certainly relieved to discover that I'm not the only one who couldn't stomach the Dune sequels. I will have to admit I was quite young when I read them, but I somehow doubt they have improved with age.

Quite frankly, I'm not sure if I even still have copies of all of them. My books have a disconcerting habit of wandering off when I haven't read them in a few years.

-- DinoNeil (, June 29, 2000.

I like some SF, but I'm not an SF geek. (Star Trek geek is another story altogether). I've never read the Dune books, but I have seen the movie (the theatrically released version eons ago) and I totally got the reference.

I like the movie ok. I just couldn't stomach the failing special effects near the end. And the whole heart plug thing. Eeww.

"The spice must flow." Heh. I like that.

-- Carol (, June 29, 2000.

Okay, I stand corrected.

I'm such a voracious reader (mostly SF and Fantasy) and have found that most people I know aren't that I've stopped expecting people to know such references or even caring about them.

Dune is the best of the series. I stopped half-way through the fourth due to shear bordom.

The movie sucked rocks. I was so disappointed with it for two reasons: the special effects were not that great (with the exception of the personal shields used in the knife fight between Paul and Gurney) and the constant overuse of personal voiceovers drove me nuts. I know that it was a literary device that Herbert used to very good effect in the book, but it just did not translate well to film, in my opinion.

The worms were cool.

-- Roger Bixby (, June 29, 2000.

My friend Alea told me in 6th grade or so that her mother chose the name from Dune. It must have been the book, which is odd because her mom never read very much SF at all.

-- Jessie (, June 29, 2000.

I read every Dune book and I normaly don't read a lot of SF. I still read the original about twice a year because I find much of it inspirational. Replace it often cause I read it in the bath : )

-- Daniel (, June 29, 2000.

>>>"Oh-h-h, the Calcian girls Will do it for pearls, And the Arrakeen for water! But if you desire dames like consuming flames, Try a Caladanin daughter!"

I sure don't remember it, but it's gonna be running through my head now for the rest of the day. I guess I *have* changed since high school. Okay, I went over to Amazon and put Dune on my wishlist.

-- Catherine (, June 30, 2000.

Okay, am I the only person out here who likes _all_ of the Dune books (some more than others, but I still liked them all) _and_ the movie? (My personal ranking for the books is 1 (best), 5, 2, 3, 6, 4. And btw, if anyone out there has a hardback copy of Dune Messiah they are interested in selling, I'd be interested in completing my collection.)

"It is by my will alone I set my mind in motion..."

-- Katie (, June 30, 2000.

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