If I seem like a shy writer, it’s because I’m in the midst of moving this week from Chicago to sunny Los Angeles. My work with Critical Mass leads me there, and I couldn’t be more grateful. LA holds a lot of opportunity for folks in the field of digital content. My head spins and my heart swells. But mostly the spinning.
I’ll post an update very soon after the move. Feel free to ask questions in the comments! I’ll be happy to answer.
The first clue were the three helicopters hovering above my neighborhood this morning as I left my building. Next were the trademark blue “City of Chicago” sawhorses lining a street corner on my way to the Montrose brown line el stop. Once I was just west of Ravenswood Avenue, I experienced an oddly brown mud/ice concoction underfoot. I saw some activity in the street ahead as I entered the station, but I focused on getting my train. I’d hear something about it at some point, right?
On my way up to the platform, a girl was taking a photo with her camera phone from the first flight of stairs. “Whoa,” I said. Here’s why:
A water main had broken along Montrose, East of Damen, at about 1:30 this morning. The water was shut off at 7, and there’s a big clean-up job ahead. Several cars that were parked along this stretch were submerged or towed away.
My coworker Tim took both of these photos. He’s calling it “Crater Day.” I blame J.J. Abrams for devising this elaborate publicity stunt to remind Chicago to see Cloverfield.
A few points to remember as you’re riding the CTA trains in Chicago (we Chicagoans call it “the el”):
1. Don’t worry so much about getting ready for your stop. Standing near the door for your whole ride just puts you in the way of other people trying to use the doors. Similarly, preparing yourself for the next stop well beforehand by forcing a tiny path through the rest of us (packed like sardines) is equally curious and irritating. Seriously, chillax! I have never seen anyone miss their stop because they didn’t get out in time.
2. Use your inside voice. When you’re in a group on the el, people aren’t amused by you unless they have nothing better to do. Same thing goes for cell phone convos. No one cares! In fact, they’d rather you shut your gab-hole so they can read their books. Red line riders are sometimes exempt from this rule, because the train itself can’t be bothered to stay quiet.
3. Seats have borders, too. When you’re lucky enough to score one of those not-quite ergonomic seats on the el, you get all the space within the confines of those nifty lines that border its fuzzy blue (or brown) surface. In other words, no one should cross borders with their giant elbows as they read the paper or text their (probably equally self-entitled) friend.
4. Check your scent. Everyone knows that voices carry – but breath travels, too. Carry a pack of gum with you for those post-coffee mornings.
I know I’ve missed a few – feel free to let me know your El-iquette additions.