I love D.C. Metro. It can get you from here to Tyson's Corner (to go to Target) and back, such as I did today. I took the bus to Tenleytown and went from the Tenleytown Metrorail stop to Wheaton ... where, evidently, there used to be cool drive-in theaters and sock-hop type restaraunts in the 60s. Now, well, it's just a lot of malls and corporate plazas. But my point: D.C. Metro has one downfall. That downfall, which I so quickly forgot about from my first trip here, is that the escalators into the actual metro area are horrendously steep and long. Now, I understand that metrorail systems must be built into the bowels of the Earth, if not aboveground like the El in Chicago. But in D.C., they are halfway to the core.
I'm not one to hate on escalators, but as a topic of interest (such as what Beth recently posted about), I have an irrational fear of escalators. There's this fear of it jerking to a hault (as escalators seem to do randomly) and me falling to my doom along the sharp, jaggedy edges of the escalator steps. And it wouldn't be like falling down the mall escalator, oh no. It would be like falling off a 12-story building to my death, bumping stairs along the way. I don't like to stand still going down because I worry about the jerking-related death, but I also hate walking down them. I can't look up while walking down the escalator for fear I'll miss a step and stumble, but when I stare at the steps they all blend together and I start to worry whether I'll miss a step and stumble anyway. I hold on with a batter's grip to the railing and hope for the best. But D.C. metrorail escalators, my g-d. Surely my life will end while going down one. Surely.
An image search for "d.c. metro escalator" turns up 90 images, most which have some kind of description of "long long escalator." Yes, people marvel at the ridiculousness of them. That includes me, and my irrational fear of death via escalator.