The Amtrak regional can feel like a bit of a throwback, taking as it does five hours and more to get from South Station to Penn Station. It slows you down, makes you think as you move from one place to the next. Old school.
Even more so if you settle into the cafe car, as I did on a recent Monday. There, a white-haired man in tweed suit sat in a booth reading The New York Times. Across the aisle, an elegant couple she in Asian-themed threads finely tailored, he in a dapper blazer and crisp slacks sat with their own copy. She used a green pen to highlight lines from a political article about an upcoming Senate race in Virginia.
In the next car up, another older couple sat side by side. He took out a cell phone and dialed a friend. But not without fumbling through the dialing, asking for help.
Hello, he said.
He explained that they were en route to New York, she for a doctors appointment, he for a few meetings. He would tend to any other business, he explained, upon his return at weeks end.
In case of emergency, he counseled, We can be reached at the Harvard Club.
Old school indeed.