essays

getting there

A street photography series shot with an iPhone 11 Pro documenting public transportation in Los Angeles.


Public transportation in Los Angeles carries a stigma that goes back as far as I can remember. People value the convenience and isolation that their cars provide. I can understand the desire to travel in relative peace but it comes at a cost. There are many overlooked benefits that come with riding public transportation. In a society that offers endless ways to curate your interactions, mass transit forces you to do the exact opposite. When riding a bus or train, you are in physical contact with the city. Besides, it’s one of the last ways to authentically experience Los Angeles.

Truth be told, I miss taking the bus. For the majority of my life it was my main mode of transportation. When my family first moved here from New York this was the first way we explored the city. Eventually my mother got a car but we still took the bus regularly as she never liked driving on the freeway. As a child I developed a habit of people watching at an early age.

I continued riding the bus long into my adulthood because it was inexpensive and had become one of my favorite photographic subjects. With enough observation the underlying rhythms that make Los Angeles unique become apparent. It’s not always a quiet or pleasant trip but we all get where we’re going together.