Sunday, June 13, 2010

BUS STORY # 188 (73 Bus Stories About The No. 73 London Routemaster Bus)

Number 73, originally uploaded by thereminwar.

In late 2005, a friend and reader sent me a clipping from the New York Times. It told the story of the return of the St. Charles line in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. (You can read it here.)

I thought it was too good a story not to post, but I also knew it wasn’t an Albuquerque bus story. Thus was “This Week’s Feature” born. (You’ll find it at the bottom of several other links to the right of the bus stories.)

This past week, I came across a link to “73 Bus Stories.” It took me to a complex site called which was “designed to explore, experience and capture textual, visual and sensual narratives of the mobile London urban experience.”

The creator of the site is Kat Jungnickel who describes herself as “a member of Studio INCITE [Incubator for Critical Inquiry into Technology and Ethnography], in the Sociology Department at Goldsmiths College, University of London” on Studio INCITE's "about me" page.

It all sounded pretty dry to me. Fortunately, I persisted in poking around urban journey’s multiple links until I hit a gold mine: 73 Stories.

Here is how Kat set it up:

The old No.73 Routemaster was offically retired from London streets on Friday 3rd September, 2004. I have been gathering stories about it since July 2003.

73 stories
each around 73 words
about the 73 bus

A story can be about whatever you want - being on the bus, waiting at the bus stop or being on the street watching it go by. It can be observational, based on real events, daydreams or simply what you like or don’t like about it.

Write them here and I will add them to the bus or the street or the bus stop on the 73 bus website. Please include your location, when it took place and who you are to help locate the story.

The site is brilliant.

It opens to a seating diagram for both decks of a double-decker bus. Click on any seat in the diagram, and you get anywhere from one to four stories, each submitted by riders (and drivers) of the No. 73, and each “placed on the seat where the story happened.”

As you might expect, the stories run the gamut from memories of WW II to No. 73’s last run. They’re all interesting, and some are downright marvelous.

There are 32 separate seat links here. I plan to feature each one over the next 32 weeks of bus stories under “This Week’s Feature.”

If you can’t wait, here’s the link to all 73 stories:

73 Bus Stories.


The photo at the top of this story is titled “Number 73” and is posted with the kind permission of thereminwar. You can see this and all thereminwar’s photos on Flickr at:


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