On July 26th, a number of Columbia City restaurants are hosting the “Columbia City Chow Down“, a charity event where you pay a $75 flat fee and sample thirteen of the neighborhood’s eateries.

Sadly, that’s the same day as our meetup. Proceeds go to the Rainier Valley Food Bank. Tickets are now on sale, but you have to buy by July 18th.

16 Replies to “Light Rail Excuse of the Week”

  1. The people on this blog need an excuse to ride Central Link light rail? They don’t just ride it all the time as a regular part of their weekdays?

    At the very least, I would have expected Martin, and the other regluar contributors here, to ride Central Link regularly to “Explore Columbia City.”

    Wasn’t that one of the selling points of the campaign for light rail — “Ride Link light rail to Explore Columbia City!” But, you actually need some other “excuse” to ride Link?

    1. Think of it as entertainment for transit geeks. Some people have a picnic in the park. Railfans take Link to Rainier Valley for any special event that comes along. Some of us live on the line and take Link every day, but some of us don’t, usually because we don’t live near Link and don’t work near Link. That will change when north Link is finished and it’ll be closer to more people.

      1. I’m far more likely to go to Colombia City for something like this because of Link then if it weren’t there. Actually if I saw a news announcement of a Chow down somewhere else I’d probably not even read it if I knew I’d have to figure out how to get there on the bus.

  2. I love riding the light rail for entertainment. I have even ventured up to lynnwood to ride a double tall CT 413

    1. I combined Sounder and Tacoma Link in one day for very little reason outside of wanting to do it. I can’t say I’ve done that for a bus although the double talls would be the only one I could think of. Maybe the Swift if I didn’t already ride it all the time.

      1. The double tall ride is totally worth it. Get on at swamp creek P&R so you can get the front top seat.

  3. Thanks, Martin. Always love an excuse. $75 ($150 for a couple) is pretty steep, though. Wish they offered like a 6 for $35 option.

    1. You can only eat so much so $75 per person doesn’t make a lot of sense. They could say 100 restaurants for $35 and not lose any more money than 10 restaurants for $35. Just because you have 90 more restaurants to eat from doesn’t mean you can eat 90 times more food.

  4. Lessee, a month ago I rode the 550 + 240 + 107 + Link to see how Newcastle had changed in the past 20 years. Last week I rode the 578 to Federal Way + A to SeaTac + Link to check on Federal Way’s urbanism. And earlier I did 150 + 168 + 168 (return) + 169 + 101 to see what Covington, Maple Valley, and Kent East Hill are like.

    I’ve been thinking about Sounder to Puyallup + 408 Federal Way, because I’ve never been to Puyallup. (Surprisingly, the local bus is faster than the express bus between Puyallup and Federal Way, because the 408 goes straight there while the 578 goes through Sumner and Auburn.) I almost did a shorter trip this afternoon: Sounder to Auburn + 180 to SeaTac, but decided to save that for another day. Snohomish is also on my list, although it looks like the only good roundtrip bus is a limited one from Everett.

  5. I took the amtrak to vancouver, expo line to scott road, then 420 ladner exchange, then 601 boundary bay walked around point roberts, 601 to ladner, 420 back to scott rd, then sky train to surrey central then the 501 to langley. Was a very interesting day!

  6. And FYI i just started to ride transit in march. I needed a challenge and find bussing places and figuring out when/where i can go is fascinating

    1. Mt Baker station has a few attractions. A block north of the station is a Thai restaurant. West is the Cheasty Greenbelt which is supposed to have a trail through it to Beacon Hill. (That’s on my list to do.) East a 10-minute walk is the Mt Baker village, with a pizza place, several streetcar-suburb-like commercial establishments, the Mt Baker club, and an Olmstead park and boulevards.

    2. North of Mt Baker village, especially around 31st-34th aves, are old brick houses I call “storybook houses” because they remind me of Hans Christian Anderson.

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