Leisure and Socializing and Uncategorized28 Jul 2008 03:59 pm

We return to the city for yet another party. After the Venetian Night experience last night with Metra, we decide not even to try to bring our bikes and just ride it down to Clybourn, where we will catch an Ashland bus back north to our friends’ house near Wellington and Racine.

At Davis, two women cyclists in bike lycra with road bikes get off the car ahead and walk past our car. What? Bikes on the train today? More cyclists get off at downline stations. Damn, we could have taken our bikes after all. Nancy engages one getting off with us at Clybourn and grouses about Metra but the cyclist defends them as coming a long way. Is the train half-empty or half-full?

I urge Nancy to drop this line of discussion and run with me to the northbound Ashland bus waiting in traffic at the light. We just missed another one as the train rolled in and I don’t want to miss this one. The driver opens the doors for us. The ride is brief to Wellington where we walk east through our old stompin’ grounds and size up what has changed. Little Bucharest is long gone with its heavy food and flocked wallpaper and layered creamy tortes. I remember an old party at an apartment she shared on Racine. It’s a nice memory.

This party is fun, too. We see parents and teachers from the old grade school. We tell stories and catch up and meet the handsome young men who used to be little kids my son played with and went to Cub Scout camp with. I drink Margaritas with no guilt whatsoever: I am not driving and I am not cycling, so there. This is freedom you don’t get with a car.

One of the Moms offers to ride us to the Ravenswood Metra as she goes home with her son and daughter. Her old Saturn has over 140 thousand miles on it with no rust, she says. This is her contribution to the environment, she says. I’m OK with not treating cars as mere disposables after three years.

At Ravenswood, we have time to spare, over 30 minutes, and plan to read on the spartan platform on this pretty summer late afternoon. Before I sit on the comfy asphalt, a woman on the southbound platform yells across the tracks, “Are you going to Chicago?” “No, where are you headed?” I ask her. “Lake Bluff.”

“Come on over to this side,” I say, and direct her down the steps and under the tracks to our steps.

I’m on the platform as she and her three friends come up. They are in a good mood. They are wearing Cubs shirts and hats. She compliments me on my Converse Skulls and I thank her. She offers us an Old Style and I accept only after asking her if she has enough for her friends. “Nah, she’s already over-imbibed so I’m cutting her off,” she says, indicating her friend sitting on the platform with her head down. But they are chatting and laughing and teasing each other, sometimes coarsely. “Those are some real cankles you got there, bitch,” says one woman looking at another’s legs.

I drink my beer and we chat and my wife laughs. They take pictures of each other a nice digital and I offer to take some of the four of them. They cluster and hug and smile and look very nice in the viewfinder. Zzzttt-click. They are pleased with the photos and laugh reviewing them.

Party on a platform.

This is what I like about riding transit, remember?

One Response to “Sunday, 7/27/08: Bikes on Metra Not Ours; More Random Encounters”

  1. on 29 Jul 2008 at 6:00 pm Steve Cohen

    Ah, Little Bucharest, I used to love it too, until the owner basically kicked me out one day for bringing down the image he was trying to cultivate by coming in there with some black folk. I never went back, which probably had some longterm benefits for my health.

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