The suburbs are a whole different adventure from the city. For reals. I experience both on an almost-daily basis, and I always feel relief when I exit the commuter train at my neighborhood stop in the city.
Little public transportation is the biggest problem I have with the suburb in which I work. And when I say "little," I mean pretty much nothing besides the commuter train. After all, rich people all drive.
With a work meeting at 9:30 and appointments in the city at 1 and at 3, my day looked something like this:
10:45 -- meeting is finally over, and I leave my office to meet my friend D. The commuter train we take, which is walking distance from our campus, doesn't run a southbound train in the 11 o'clock hour. I wish I was kidding. D agreed to drive me across town to the other train line.
11:10 -- arrived at the west train stop
11:20 -- boarded my train. I have a monthly train pass for unlimited rides, but it's still kind of a naughty thrill whenever my ticket doesn't get checked. That happened today.
12:25 -- arrived downtown at Union Station, where I promptly grabbed some junk (read: fast food) for lunch. After lunch, I wandered out to catch the bus.
12:45 -- FINALLY a bus arrives. I watched 3 fly past while waiting to cross the Clinton St. to the bus stop. I hate feeling rushed, but that looked like an unavoidable problem today. I didn't have too far to go, maybe a mile, but it was 90 degrees and humid. I wasn't going to walk.
1:00 -- I rolled in right on time.
1:30 -- I rolled out in plenty of time. And then I waited. And waited. And finally a Blue Line train arrived, running express from Racine (my stop) to Jackson. I love when I'm fortunate enough to get on an express train that's not going to bypass my stop. That always happens when I'm on a Red Line train heading express -- it starts its express stint at Wilson, two stops south of mine and truly walking distance from the house.
2:20 -- I rolled in early for my dentist appointment and was out of there in an hour. Golden. Except for the part about me waiting for the Brown Line forever to head north.
Between 10:45 and 3:30, I went from my office to Lincoln Park, essentially, with only two real stops in between. That's crazy to me.
Sometimes, I feel like I spend my whole life on trains. On days like today, that's actually pretty true.