Each day, a stream of complaints floods Metro’s Twitter feed.
“Car 6096 on the Orange Line is very hot, no A/C #”; “2 out of 3 escalators broken at Bethesda station. How many people will have a cardiac event today?!?”
Many of those who complain vent about what they see as Metro’s inaction. But one morning earlier this month, an artist named Sam Husseini was relieved to find Metro had done nothing about what must have seemed like yet another gripe.
The previous afternoon, Husseini was waiting for a Red Line train at the Rhode Island Avenue-Brentwood station when he noticed a bird’s nest in the station’s roof.
Husseini often finds beauty in nature, even in the mold growth and stains on the walls of Metro stations, which he once made the subject of a series of photographs.
When he saw the nest, he saw a connection between human society and nature. At Rhode Island Avenue, nature was being allowed to coexist.
So excited was Husseini that he rode up and down the station’s escalators trying to get a good shot while waiting for the train. When he did, he posted the picture on Twitter and tagged #wmata, sending the photo to Metro amid the usual litany of complaints.
“Hi Sam,” someone at Metro tweeted back. “Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We have shared your tweet with our Office of Plant Maintenance for inspection and action.”
Alarmed and picturing Plant Maintenance headed to disturb the nest — perhaps eradicating it like a gorgeous example of mold — he tweeted back: “Ack. I wasn’t complaining about that at all. I actually think it’s beautiful. I’m sorry I tagged you. Just let it be.”
The next day, when he returned to the station, he was relieved to see not just the one nest, but several others, too.
“We as ‘modern humans’ need the functionality of trains,” Husseini wrote in an email. “But there’s no reason why they can’t coexist with nature more intelligently.”
Got a Metro anecdote to share? Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or @theDCrider.