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Tag Archives: tram 8

Well, Hello There Number Eight!

29 May

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Yep: there you have it, folks.

Photographic proof that the 8 tram is now running up and down Via delle Botteghe Oscure. There are a bunch of new stoplights so people can cross the 3 steps across some of the side-roads, too.

It’s all good fun. They’re in “collaudo” mode which is like “testing, testing, 1, 2, 3.”

Plus let me tell you, I was not the only one taking pictures today. I might be weird—no, I am definitely weird, and tend to take pictures of totally random things—but clearly I’m not the only one who thinks it’s strange seeing good ol’ number 8 heading towards Piazza Venezia.

And now, in other completely unrelated news: just walking by the BNL bank, minding my own business, and I’m forced to ask myself, and now you all as well: WTF does “contactless” mean? Things that make you go hmmm…

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Tram 8 Depot Moves to Piazza Venezia

9 May

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You do realize that someone actually got hired and paid to design a logo for this, do you not? The mind boggles.

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Subtitled: The shitshow formerly known as Largo Argentina/Via Florida/Via della Botteghe Oscure

I swear to God, the passage is so limited crossing Via delle Botteghe Oscure now, that there was this American middle-aged couple last week that caused a major scene. Husband, overweight and majorly grumpy, starts yelling at the TOP OF HIS LUNGS (because clearly the entire area is cordoned off by metal fencing and frankly it’s confusing even for us locals to figure out how to cross the damn street now… they’ve even placed traffic cops with whistles there to help people figure it out) “I DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY’RE FUC£$(£) DOING HERE! I’M TRYING MY BEST! YOU’RE NOT DOING ANYTHING!” Poor wife. So embarrassed. All the locals nearby start staring. (Who’s the jackass yelling at his wife?!) The traffic cop lady starts blowing on her whistle like our lives depended on it. A local points to the couple. The lady traffic cop goes “SO?!!? Move it! He can scream as much as he wants!”

Oh, Rome, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

So, Largo Argentina is my stomping grounds. (I really just wanted an excuse to say stomping grounds. That’s fun.) I’ve always worked around this piazza and am happy to say so, because clearly I love this square. The gelato. The coffee. The coffee again. And again. The pizza. The theater. The dude named Amadeo who draws chalk murals on the sidewalk, and even merited a Part 2, for God’s sake! Let’s face it folks: I can’t get enough of this place.

By now, unless you’ve been living under a rock, or Roma Nord, you’ve probably noticed that all hell has broken loose around Largo Argentina, due to the expansion of the 8 tram to Piazza Venezia.

Yes, you read me right: ATAC, or rather should I say Mayor Alemanno and his crew, a.k.a. la giunta, decided to extend the 8 line basically THREE BLOCKS. Isn’t that how far 450 meters is? I can’t find any explanation as to why, except that apparently the original plan was to get the 8 tram to head up Via Nazionale and on over to Termini, which is where the 40 Express bus takes people. See, now, that would have been nice. So, I’m a bit confused about the whole thing, but then again, what isn’t confusing around here when it comes to city politics? (Note: mayoral elections coming up at end of month! Brace yourselves! What’s that, you say? Already accusations of corrupted vote-buying? Oh, stop it now! Not here!)

Instead, we get the depot moved a few blocks over to Piazza Venezia, where mystical fortune tellers the city says that it will provide a connection to the much-ballyhooed Metro C.

Shall we go there?

You see, my friends, the Metro C is like a desert mirage. You believe it’s real, you see the signs that say behind there, work is taking place, archaeological investigations, whatnot. But no matter how far along you go, it never really appears. 2020, here we come! It’s only eight years away. Miracles can still happen.

Although I will give kudos to Metro B1. That is so Roman. Three extra stops, took SEVEN years. Seven. I’m not shitting you. (Pssst, come close! Did you know that there’s even a Metro D that’s been planned? Stop laughing! It’s not funny! Ok, they abandoned that folly last year. But still…)

Anyhoo, what does this exciting construction project that’s been going on for nearly a year now, bring us good citizens of Rome? Well, lots of noise, for starters. And a whole hell of a lot of traffic congestion. And confused bus riders who can’t tell from which day to the next where their bus stop is going to be moved to.

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But, look! Lookie here! I see three benches, too!

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Ok, fine, so they’re fenced off. What of it? The point is that they made the effort. And one day, those benches are going to serve an important purpose, I feel certain of that.

I dunno, folks. They talk about this exciting new “pedestrian area” in front of the theater, and I’m like, and? What are we going to do with a cement paved area in front of a whole lot of nothing? With no shade, no benches, and no worthwhile shops or services to speak of? I mean, they just paved over the old tracks where the 8 used to turn around to go back the other direction. BOH.

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It’s fun to complain, though. Complaining, bitching and moaning, free expression of totally unsolicited opinions: it’s all good sport around here. Love it!

So I just thought I’d throw in my two cents.

If traffic is an issue, why don’t we just use more of the city’s Bikesharing program?

Hey! Now that’s an idea! Now we’ve got our thinking caps on!

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Oops, never mind.

But, who cares, really? We’re in Rome! Let them eat gelato! I was so confused by the construction fences they’d set up the other day around my office, that I had to go back the other way as one end of my street was completely closed off. After this crazy detour, I found myself, oops, coincidence of coincidences, near enough to Gelateria Corona to just “pop in.” Holy CRAP. People! They have honey with chili pepper (HELLO!) and licorice with raspberry. Get on over there!