Sunday, April 7, 2013

METROLift Assumptions And My Disability

Christina Edelen, Harpsichord
Ann Fairbanks, Flute
I hope to attend a recital tomorrow. It's at University of St. Thomas, where I used to teach an ensemble and also my official instrument in that context (recorder). Two old friends and colleagues, Dr. Ann K. Fairbanks (faculty flutist, in this case, baroque flute) and Christina Edelen (harpsichord; she now lives in Amsterdam), are offering an assortment of baroque music at noon, in the Cullen music building, which is at 4001 Mt. Vernon, if you care to attend... hey, it's free, and worth much more than that.

At present, the only listed METROLift stop for UST is the old administration building, the Kirby mansion, at the corner of Alabama and Montrose. From Google Maps, I learn that the distance if you walk to the Cullen building is 3½ blocks, two of them quite long blocks. Cripples like me do not voluntarily walk 3½ blocks, but I may have to do that if I want to attend.

So why is the music performance space not listed on METROLift? I'm not sure. It could be as simple as  the fact that "no one has asked for it." Or it could be because it's on campus, and UST is a private university; many streets which once cut through campus in my younger days have since been blocked off. That is not in and of itself a bad thing; the campus is surely safer for pedestrians in the UST community. But it surely is a pain for people with disabilities.

I'll phone METROLift tomorrow to see what the deal is. Maybe I'll go to the recital; maybe I won't... can't. If you get the chance, it's surely worth hearing. Tell the performers I sent you.

UPDATE: I canceled for logistical reasons (see comments), but you can still go. I guarantee you you'll enjoy it; these two are among the best of the best.

UPDATE: I couldn't resist... I emailed the performers to wish them "break a leg" ...


  1. That's a bummer. If You really need to get there and don't have the facility then take a cab and send(email) me the bill. I will gladly gift you the fare. We've known each other long enough that such a gift would not be an issue and it would be a pleasure to have you have a nice night out on me.

    1. fallenmonk, you are (quite literally) too kind. At this point, I'm not broke; I'm just trying to avoid becoming broke. Like many contractors, I felt the bottom drop out of my business in 2007-8; since then, I've used about half my savings (more if you count what I have to pay on my recent medical bills, but at least I'm on Stella's insurance, which is through a major brand-name company, so things could be a lot worse. And I presume I'll begin receiving SocSec sometime reasonably soon after I apply this summer.

      No, the issue here is not money but transportation. When Stella was healthy, I depended on her for rides; now, she takes the bus to work and cannot drive for any purpose. I anticipate being able to drive in six months or maybe less; meanwhile, for all that I gripe about METROLift, it's a damned sight better than nothing, especially for regular trips like those I make to TIRR Kirby Glen for physical therapy.

      This is one of those rare times when METROLift is not suitable, and even as I say that, I realize I probably could have arranged to have that location added to their list if I'd gotten organized last week some time.

      METROLift also has a program called MSP in which they subsidize short-distance cab fares. I'm probably eligible, and again, if I'd gotten in gear last week, I probably could have used that.

      Not to worry, my friend. These musicians come through Houston perhaps twice a year; I'll have other opportunities to hear them.

    2. I hesitated to offer but said what the hell all Steve can do is be offended and he'll get over it. I understand it is more logistics than finance but thought I would offer. It is Buddha's Birthday today(at least for some). I hope things work out for the best.

    3. No offense taken, fallenmonk; indeed, I am grateful for your offer. Ask again in a few years. :-)

      I did, in fact, cancel the whole expedition. With two physical therapy sessions and two medical appointments, this recital meant five events in five weekdays; it was a bit much for someone in my condition. My condition will improve; I am determined. And my musical friends come to Houston typically twice a year on tour, so I will hear them again.

      Thanks again for the offer. And happy Buddha's birthday!



• Click here to view existing comments.
• Or enter your new rhyme or reason
in the new comment box here.
• Or click the first Reply link below an existing
comment or reply and type in the
new reply box provided.
• Scrolling manually up and down the page
is also OK.

Static Pages (About, Quotes, etc.)

No Police Like H•lmes