When I was a kid growing up on Long Island I used to love those occasions when a field trip or other event gave me the opportunity to ride the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). I loved watching all the commuters. With their trench coats and briefcases and newspapers they all looked so official and purposeful and adult. Odd as it may seem, I really looked forward to the day when I too would board the train, not as a schoolkid wearing a name tag along with 15 other kids, but as a adult employee of some New York city museum — perhaps The Met — taking the train to get to my job every day. I never ended up having that experience of commuting on the LIRR, or on any other public transit system. I’ve always lived very close to my work, and never more than about 10 minutes away on surface streets. So when I recently had the opportunity to “commute” into downtown San Francisco for a series of meetings, I relished the chance to act like an adult, one more time. I enjoyed watching the other commuters just as much as I did when I was a kid on Long Island. The commuters were a lot more different colors and genders than when I was child, and there were very few trench coats. But they looked just as official and purposeful and — given the current unemployment rate — maybe even a little bit grateful.