Mad Men actor Vincent Kartheiser is a devoted bus rider. Image via GOOD.
The tendency in Hollywood to "equate carlessness to loserdom" is well-documented, but one of its young stars is bucking that trend. Mad Men actor Vincent Kartheiser not only doesn't own a car, he's so proud of his status, he used his night out with The New York Times to travel around by bus and rail -- in Los Angeles, no less."In the weekend Style section of The New York Times, there's a column called 'A Night With' that usually follows an emerging star (and his entourage) out to some throbbing Sunset Strip nightclub," GOOD writes, adding that Kartheiser, profiled this past weekend, "used his night out a bit differently... [taking] reporter Tricia Romano on a public transit adventure."
A Slick Small Apartment
Eschewing driving seems to be just the beginning of Kartheiser's pared-down, environmentally friendly life. As Romano describes it, the young actor's single-room Hollywood apartment sounds like something out of a Treehugger feature on living in small spaces -- it has "a bed that can be airlifted to the ceiling and sliding doors that hide his bathroom."
Though Kartheiser admitted dating can be tough for a car-free guy -- even a celebrity -- he was eloquent in explaining the appeal of letting someone else do the driving:
To go downtown where Mad Men is filmed, he takes either the Red Line or two buses. He reads, does crossword puzzles, and goes over his lines.
"It's wonderful," he said. "Instead of driving and being stressed out about traffic, you can work your scene, you can do your exercises or whatever on the bus. Everyone's got their own deal." ...
"I like that my life slows down when I go places," he said. "I have all these interactions with the human race and I can watch people living their life and not just in their car."
Currently, the actor is a minority in Los Angeles, where only 10 percent of the population is dependent on public transportation. But the times, they may be a-changin'. "They've done a study and they've found that people under 30 no longer view cars as status symbols or even positive things," Kartheiser told the Times. "They look at them as pollutants." More bus-riding celebrities can only help accelerate the trend.
More about riding the bus:
How to Ride the Bus!
Hop on the Bus: Start Riding Public Transit
Track Buses by Phone, Internet, Bus Stop
Crazy Bus Stops From Around the World
What's Bus Stop Consolidation? A Way to Make Transit Faster for Little Money (Video)
Finding True Love on Public Transit: Bus Bet Leads to Marriage