Today at the Uptown redline stop I passed by an old lady in an obvious wig with a sock cap over it pulling up her shopping cart. As I climbed the stairs the disturbing sound of the card vending machine alarm surrounded me. It really reinforces the depressing nature that so often characterizes that train station. Outside on the platform, it was sunny and the air was crisp and still. This makes the sub-freezing weather almost friendly. I closed my my eyes and soaked in the sun and wondered if nocturnal animals feel the opposite of this bliss when confronted with the sun’s rays. After several minutes the alarm came back to my consciousness and I felt so much pity for the cta service person who had to bear that alarm in person.
Surprisingly the people have not kicked out the pigeons yet. They’re even roosting on the advertising. You’ll just have to trust or ride the L to Randolph and Washington. Or buy me an awesome camera phone and pay for it’s plan. I mean, you have options.
Coming home from my long cta driven errand morning I sat across from 2 old Chinese men. I fell in love with them a little bit. Aside from my delight in funky old people, it was just nice to get a change in demographics of the post Xmas holiday shoppers and tourists. The man on the right had a fake fur hat and the other man likely doesn’t give a shit about baseball, but needed a hat. He had a perpetual amused look on their face as they discussed something in Cantonese. The other man brought out his wallet and pulled out a couple of lottery tickets and I can only guess they discussed their chances or their failures. Who knows perhaps they won the big one and were plotting out their new life. I almost wished I hadn’t have sat directly across from them because it’s difficult to draw covertly from that angle. It was a great way to end my drawing time on the train.
I hope this is an ongoing series. Sometimes I sit down on the El, bus, train, plane etc and wonder who sat here before me so naturally I’m amused at the passing of people at the same place.
Young man, perhaps military looks out of the window like he’s never seen Chicago before. I assume he came from Midway. He left and a man in his 40s sits down and zereos in on his phone without a glance to the outside world.
30ish seeming woman with a blue-collar llook replaced by young professional types.
At some point this week I forced myself out of a daze during my morning prep. I took a look around at my apartment and thought about how different my work life is to my home life. What a belabored transition it is every morning to force myself into my work day activities. It’s as if I’m giving birth to a worker bee every day.
A deep cold hasn’t yet taken hold of Chicago but the short days are still tough. Even global warming can’t stop that.
My old apartment building had 18 or so units in it and it was full of young professionals and students. It had a nice vibe to it. People said hello in the courtyard wearing jaunty hats and pushing cool bicycles, myself included. I called it Hipster Mayberry. One day in the laundry room I saw a note taped to a post with a drawing of a sensitive band t-shirt. Some guy had lost it and plead with the laundry users to return said t-shirt to 3R as it had sentimental value. I thought it was so sweet and sad and typical for the building’s demographics.
Today I went to do some laundry in the utility closet downstairs and almost backed my head into this.
This just would not happen in Hipster Mayberry.
The family downstairs includes a boy about 10-12 years old. As their English is pretty limited, it’s not too clear. This morning this boy shoveled up the snow on our front patio, gangway & walkway and decided the best thing to do with the excess was to build a snow screen and block his very vocal younger brother’s view of his progress. The younger brother is 4ish and prone to fits and has a great set of lungs. He has to drive the older boy crazy. He’s a handful. A very cute handful. We came out of the house as he was putting the finishing touches on his wall. We both laughed and told him good job. I’m expecting by next year we can converse pretty easily, but it’s got to be a tough year for them.