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Archive for April 8th, 2008

Some Animals in Chicago

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

We spent a lot of time this Sunday/Monday trip to Chicago, walking and exploring different neighborhoods in the city. We had never done that except for going to Devon (where Indian food, groceries and clothing make me very happy).

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As we proceeded between destinations, we saw a few animals. The first two photos here we saw walking down a residential street in Lincoln Park (if I remember right). The cat in the window was first, the dog was literally next door. They were just sitting there looking out the window as though watching television or something.

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But the last photos here were out of the blue… we were in the car and pulled over into a side street to check the map. As Brian was figuring out where to go next, I noticed some movement out of the corner of my eye, and saw it was a squirrel. Then I noticed a reddish-orange colored item he was carrying. After a little looking it became apparent that this was some sort of food package. I figured he was trying to get the residual food from a wrapper.

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Wrong. He was unwrapping… a chocolate bar. Really. I saw the wrapper fly away and there he was, chomping away at his chocolate.

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What are the chances I would ever see this, in any place, under any circumstances? Crazy!

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A Chicago ‘L’ Ride

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

The last several hours we were in Chicago, we decided to stick around and wait to drive out until the rush hour had mostly passed. Since Brian is fond of maps and likes to look at how things (roads, bridges, other transit) fit together, we decided to ride the elevated train that the City of Chicago calls the ‘L.’ (Some folks spell this “el” but the City uses the stylized ‘L’ in its literature.) A ride on the ‘L’ is a little bit like a walk through a 3-D map, and a lot like being a fly on the wall, peeking and listening without being noticed.

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An elevated train is a wonderful perch, literally up in the tops of the tallest trees, from which to see the lay of the land. You can see the back sides of businesses, back yards, junk areas not visible from the street. You can also see spectacular vistas, peeking down a busy street or viewing an important downtown landmark from a distance.

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We were amazed at how close the train goes to some of the buildings. It looked in places as though there was a clearance of less than two feet. Considering that an elevated train makes a *lot* more noise than a subway, and goes by much more often than other types of trains, it must be a significant disturbance to normal living (you have to stop talking when the ‘L’ passes by) to live there. However, the real estate surely would be more affordable for places that close to a high-noise source, and that might be a welcome tradeoff in a high-priced city real estate market.

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I have uploaded 72 photos (yeah, really… and I deleted all the blurry ones) of the ride, to my Flickr account as a set. I only added comments to the last photo, noting that it was taken after we had exited the train and walked several blocks north from the station. All other photos were taken starting on the Brown line (north) starting at the Western stop, and on the way to the loop/downtown. My camera ran out of storage space just about when we hit the loop, so I took no photos on the way back up.

Since there are no comments on the photos, you will lose no information if you run the photo set as a slideshow. You can imagine *you* are on that train looking out the window as I was just Monday.

Chicago was Lovely.

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

Brian and I went to Chicago early Sunday and came home late Monday (very late, actually early Tuesday in the wee hours). It was great.

We walked and walked, and ate, and walked, and ate some more. We checked out some of the fun little neighborhoods that we had not checked out in previous visits. We loved our time together without work to distract us.

I took over 400 photographs, until the SD card in my camera was full. I will take time to pull out a handful and make them into a Flickr photoset as I find time.

For  now, I need to schedule some classes so I can work in upcoming months.