Chicago commute

October 19 2006

I was downtown in the city today (Londoners aren't the only ones who refer to being in the city as "the city") for some meetings at IBM.  Of late, my stops in at IBM Chicago have been hit-and-run, so I've been driving.  Today I was able to take the train, and it brought back all sorts of memories for me.

While I love the work-at-home routine that IBM provides, every so often I enjoy the thrill of going downtown on the train.  For many of the people around me, they've been taking this train every day for 30 years -- maybe they were here back then when my dad would take me to his office on this very same line.  I suspect that's why I when I go downtown on the train now, it somehow feels like a very "adult" activity.  That must sound odd coming from someone who has visited over 50 different countries, but it's just one of those things I associate with my Chicago-centric life.

And when you get downtown -- ah, there's Garrett's popcorn (their cheese and caramel mix is the best), there's the steps to the Wendella taxi boat dock, there's cab #49, there's the bridge over the river that I've crossed hundreds of times.  The rush and mass of people, the incredible architecture, all the fast food and Starbucks...nobody today looked at it as an experience, it just was.  And maybe that in and of itself is the observation of the day.  

When you add up 2+ hours in transit (even if they were productive time), waiting in lines to enter building security and to buy lunch, and $11 for the train and station parking...I'll stick to working at home tomorrow, thanks.  But maybe next week....

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