04 January, 2006

Banalitary Mundanity I

I was going to write about the little New Year's fete I threw, but innommable handled that quite well here.

I want to kvetch about the morning commute.

An hour an 14 minutes later, I'm still dripping from the stuffy standing-room-only train ride. I know - despite the claims of some provincial New Yorkers - that no one has a monopoly on shitty commutes, but I still feel the need - and the right - to bitch about mine.

When I lived downtown, rush-hour was a pain, but not torture. I lived three stops from work, and though the trains were always crowded, there would be significant exodus at my stop, enabling me to join the backflow of the courteous and find a place to stand.

CTA insists on asinine arrangements of seats rather than the more logical bench-along-each-side of the car regime employed occasionally on some more intelligent systems. This, combined with the narrow cars needed to negotiate creaky twists and turns of an aged and ill maintained system combine to make the garlic-breathed (seriously, where are these people getting this much garlic at 7am?) and orange-juice-puking public uncomfortably cozy.

Now that I've moved to Logan Square, my commute has changed. Platform to platform, it takes me 15-20 minutes to get to work. But that is not in the least gripeworthy; my dilemma starts at the entrances. The Logan Square station on the CTA's Stinky (aka Blue) Line consists of a long --- long ----- long subway platform, with an entrance at either end. The platform follows the diagonal street above it, from northwest to southeast (or vice-versa, asshole). The trains on the Stinky Line are only usually about 8 cars long, however. 8 cars does not equal a mile, which is seemingly how long the platform is. The trains, going in either direction, stop at only one end of the platform - the southeast end. I live closer (marginally) to the northwest end. This can make for unpleasant mornings if I choose the NW entrance. Invariably, I'll have to put my dress shoes to athletic use in the 500 yard dash as the Stank Train barrels past with the last click of the turnstile. If I make it to the last train car before the conductor manages to pull away, no matter the time of day I find a solid, sweating mass of the fat, the ugly, and the stupid. You see, the CTA Stinky Line originates at O'Hare, and the trains back their svelte metal asses right up to the escalators in Helmut Jahn's temple of light and public transit. And why haul your every earthly possession any further than the first car you come to? Why the fuck do people travel with 8 bodybag's worth of useless crap whenever they take a short trip? More questions I can't answer. Questions which depress me so, I think I'll stop here for now. We'll kvetch about the SE entrance tomorrow. If ever.

Oh my God!! I had the EXACT same experience when I left your "party" the other night/morning! I guess I entered from the entrance that the trains don't stop at... and I had to SPRINT down the platform in my utter drunken stupor!
Ofcourse, I missed the train... and at whatever time of the morning it was... it meant I had to bum it out on the platform for another 20-some minutes till the next train showed up!

So true. That's just a dumb thing to have that long platform... if anything, they should have "extra-wide" platforms to acccommodate America's growing waist-sizes!
Sorry to hear you missed that 1st train; I certainly feel your pain. It was like forced physical therapy until I just gave up and started walking to the SE entrance.

I guess the long platform is just a simple attempt to exercise America's growing bums.
Boo hoo hoo... you've had this commute for just a few short months and you're already bitching! Some of us who could never afford to live downtown in the first place have been doing this for years Rubicund!
And Gazoo, you may know that I myself did it for years as well, all across this great land of ours. I decided to live downtown because at the outset of law school I was... let's just say... optimistic. Now I'm dirt poor.
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