2005-03-02 - 6:34 p.m.
Scenes from the Morning Commute
I went to get the el this morning and was somewhat annoyed.* Two people were leaning on the barriers facing each other, reading (not abnormal at all), but they didn't move to let people on (somewhat abnormal), and they were both VERY large (quite abnormal). I'm not talking tall large either. They were both probably 5'7" and were managing to take up all of the space between the doors except for maybe about a foot wide area that I was supposed to sqeeze though. So I got on, letting my bag knock around (yes. am passive-agressive.), and held onto the pole on the other side of the train about 3 feet away from them. I then looked at them more closely and almost laughed out loud -- they were so opposite-but-the-same!
On the left: A black man (5'7" and large as mentioned before) reading a magazine. He was wearing shades of black or gray all the way from his black hat to black coat covering a gray sweatshirt to dark gray pants and black shoes. Including a black (with a few words in yellow) magazine.
On the right: A white woman (same size almost exactly as her counterpart on the left) reading a book with a tan cover. She wore shades of tan and beige from her beige coat over light tan pants to her dingy (probably once-white) tennis shoes. There was one spot of color poking out of her pocket -- a felt multi-colored flower topping her winter hat.
I felt a bit like I was seeing a picture and its negative. It was kind of beautiful in a really weird way -- and I would have loved to have taken a picture of them. But that might have been just a wee bit weird for all of us. So I just settled for thinking they were darn cool.
*For those who don't ride Chicago public transit often: The doors open on both sides of the train so that they can accomdate station platforms on both sides. As you walk on the train, there are metal and glass barriers on either side of the door extending about 3 feet or so into the train that separate the door area from the seats. People often lean on these when the seats are all taken (I know I do so that I have to touch the poles as little as possible. My overactive imagination makes me practically see the germs), but it makes boarding and getting off the train more difficult. Some people get off to let people on or off and then get back into their place. Others scrunch against the side to make more room for people. Others do nothing so I do my best to hit them with my bag.
Concerning Yesterday's Entry
I hope a few people use some of that advice. Many of those places are already popular, but some are well-kept secrets and I get concerned for the owners of those establishments. I consider it my duty to go to small businesses as often as possible if I like them -- because if they have to close down due to lack of business it had better darn well not be my fault. I'm not militant (I shop at Target, Walmart, Payless, etc.), but I'm also a big believer that if you want something to succeed you have to support it and not just expect others to.
It's a little heavy on the South Side stuff for two reasons.
1. I live on the South Side. I've been to the North Side plenty of times, I like it, I even lived there for a few months during college, but I'm more familiar with the South Side and therefore have more to write about.
2. If you want to go to the North Side, there are probably thousands of different web sites/book/travel guides/recommendations from friends to choose from. The South Side gets shafted because people assume it's all gangs and gunfire when in reality it (on the whole) is full of neighborhoods with distinct character. It takes a little more effort to get to know the area as there are some dangers to avoid (though there are on the North Side as well) and there aren't trendy bars on every corner. But it's well worth trading some effort for some authenticity.
Our digital camera came today! Hooray! It's a Canon higher-end basic model. By that I mean it doesn't have the most megapixels, but it has plenty for us. And it has lots of features I'm going to have way too much fun using like a fireworks setting, manual shutter speed and a bunch of other stuff I might figure out once we've had the camera for a few years.
The sad part? My husband is going to China next Friday for 2 1/2 weeks and I'm ragingly jealous and am going to miss him SO much. I'm bad at spending lots of time apart -- a weekend here and there I can deal with easily, but I have too much fun when I'm with him to enjoy any time apart. Yes. Am pathetic. Plus, I won't be able to use the new camera. I am, however, feeling like a really good wife because he'll be gone on his birthday and so I'm giving him his early birthday present tonight! He's a bit music-obsessed, so I'm getting him the 40 hour accessory battery for his iPod. Good me.
I'm boring today. Sorry. Better stuff tomorrow.
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