The Friday File………A Trained & Elevated Perspective

CTA State and Lake

I thought I’d show you my perspective on what it’s like to stand on a train platform in Chicago.  On this particular occasion, I happened to be on this platform late morning when there is a lull in the crowds that normally stand beside me, behind me; why, you get the picture!

Ah, a golden opportunity for a quick photo without those pesky passengers in the way.  Wait a minute; I am one of those pesky passengers.  For all intents and purposes, please consider the previous sentence null and void.

Fresh paragraph!  Now, where was I? Golden opportunity, photo, train, yes!  As you can see, the train was just coming ’round the bend, as it were.  As there are several different lines that operate on this particular set of tracks, one must be sure ‘their’ train is that which is soon to arrive in front of the platform.

Have I ever stepped onto the wrong train? Yes I did; it was about a year ago.  Did I feel silly?   Indeed.  It’s interesting because when it happened, I was, of course, the only one who knew my foible.  Why is it that we humans feel as if everyone in an entire 10-mile radius knows exactly what we just did?  Cheeks becoming flushed with embarrassment, I quickly got off at the next stop, moved down the platform a bit, and ‘casually’ waited at that stop for ‘my’ train.

From my, “Trained Perspective”, as the title of this little post connotes, when a train is spotted, why, it must be mine; how can it not be mine, I’ve been waiting all of nine minutes, you know!

When a train platform is hardly recognizable as such due to the gigantic number of people standing on it, it’s hard to know ‘where to look’.  If you look left or right, chances are you will be looking directly into someone’s shoulder.  You may ask yourself, well, what about straight ahead! Ah, I’m ‘ahead’ of you with that!  Directly across from you are those ‘platformers’ looking at you looking at them waiting for ‘their’ train going in the opposite direction.  Look down?  No, not the best idea, as you might end up missing that “Brown Line” train and shift yourself onto a “Green Line” train instead.  Although I once counted (spying on the platformers across the way) 18 out of 20 people LOOKING DOWN AT THEIR PHONES!!!  I kid you not.  I try not to do this when waiting for a train, as it is quite a distracting exercise, let alone when you are perched on a train platform.

No, I have a little method I use (especially when it’s sunny).  Sporting my ‘cool rays’, as I like to call my sunglasses, (I’m inserting my own rolling of my eyes on your behalf), I appear as if I am looking straight ahead, yet I shift my eyes in the direction of the train so I can keep my eyes on (literally) my ride, all the while not looking as if I am reading what is on your phone when you are 3/4 of an inch away from me on this frightfully crowded platform.

I love the train system here in Chicago, known affectionately by Chicagoans as the, “L” (which stands for, ‘elevated train’).  Once you get the hang of it, somehow it becomes part of your character, your persona, your………………………….

WAIT! There’s my train!!!  Gotta run!!!!

Ah, it was someone else’s train.  Now where were we??????????? 🙂

  36 comments for “The Friday File………A Trained & Elevated Perspective

  1. May 29, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    I never took the wrong train, but I’ve taken the wrong bus before, and had to get out, cross the street and head back again 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 29, 2015 at 5:20 pm

      Well you have made me feel better, my dear! I think we are all so busy that we just have lots on our mind all the time! 🙂 🙂 🙂 Cher xo

      Like

      • May 29, 2015 at 5:25 pm

        I know I should be more attentive downtown, but I find when I’m on trains and buses I always daydream. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • May 29, 2015 at 5:34 pm

        Me too, dear!! xo

        Like

  2. May 29, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    The thing that puzzles me about the “L” is why it has more than one station with the same name? OK, at which Harlem do I get off? I guess if we were indigenous to the area, we would just know.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 29, 2015 at 5:34 pm

      That is an extremely good question. In the case of the Harlem station, the two stops are actually on different train lines: One is the Harlem stop on the Green Line, and the other is the Harlem stop on the Blue Line. I think because this city is soooo huge, some streets go on for miles and miles (km), thereby covering vast areas by the different lines. As long as you are on the correct ‘train’ (as was not the case with me when I was on the wrong line; Purple instead of Brown, for example) there is only one stop of that name. Hope that makes sense! Cher xo

      Like

      • May 29, 2015 at 7:03 pm

        Actually, Cher, both Harlem stops are on the Blue line, so eventually you can get to the right place. It just might take a while. But you would think they could name a station after someone like. We could have Harlem and Capone. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • May 29, 2015 at 7:20 pm

        To even add more confusion, I just looked up this scenario and the Green Line has two Harlem stops as well! Oh my goodness! *LOL* I had no idea, as my routes of travel don’t take me to some of these stops. I completely agree! Why not do something creative with the names!!! 🙂 🙂 Cher xo

        Like

  3. May 30, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    I love the original iron work and wood – it’s got real character.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 30, 2015 at 1:35 pm

      You know, Chrissie, I’ve always liked that too! They are upgrading (slowly) some of the stations but I do like the iron work and wood, too!! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  4. May 31, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    I love using that trick – while wearing my sunnies, keep my head still while I spy on everyone around me. Great people watching tool!

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 31, 2015 at 4:09 pm

      Oh Cindy, that is too funny! *LOL* So I’m not the only one! Hehehehehe Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  5. June 1, 2015 at 8:06 am

    As a true Chicagoan, I have taken the wrong train. I blame Stephen King! Lol! I was standing on the Fullerton platform waiting for a Purple line train. I was nose deep in my book when (you guessed it) the Brown line arrived. I looked up for a fraction of a second, then confidently stepped onto the train. My error was not immediately recognized. I was still in that other world when I heard “Next stop will be Rockwell” Wait..Rockwell??!!! That’s not on this line!! Oh, no!!! Needless to say, I was late to work that day. I will NEVER be distracted on the platform again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 1, 2015 at 8:11 am

      My dear, thank you for your comments which make me feel a lot better!! Ah, that Stephen King! *LOL* Interesting about your Purple/Brown Line experience, because I did the opposite! I was waiting for the Brown Line and got on the Purple! Oh my goodness! I also stopped listening to my IPOD on the train platform for obvious reasons! *grin* Thank you for your comments and for stopping by The Chicago Files! Please come back anytime and join in with your Chicago experiences, as you are the true Chicagoan, and I’m the Canuck!! *grin* Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  6. June 4, 2015 at 1:04 am

    I love the description of waiting for the train – sounds very much like the London Underground where we all studiously ignore everyone else on the platform! Looking at the photo the train is (to me) running wrong line – that’s because I’m used to UK / European railway practice. On the CTA website I see that State / Lake is on the loop section of the Brown Line with a connection to the Red Line – which is confusing because the station page shows it is served by 5 lines. I guess the system has its foibles to catch out Johnny Foreigner and some of the locals too! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 4, 2015 at 7:25 am

      Well I think that people from the UK do a significantly better job at getting around Chicago than people from, “out of state” as they say here, because you are much more used to trains and what to look for, etc. Yes, I can see how it is confusing; what actually happens is some of the lines require you to go ‘up another flight’ of stairs to get to another set of tracks! No worries, Johhny Foreigner, you’d catch on straight away!! *biggest grin* Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  7. June 8, 2015 at 6:52 am

    Love the photo, reminds me of a trip to Chicago some years ago. Heavens it was a cold November but the city has some great architecture, we took a train out to the suburbs to see homes built by Frank Lloyd Wright. Had a great time in Chicago, can see why you would love living there.

    Like

    • June 8, 2015 at 10:57 am

      I am so glad you liked it here! Why yes, it can be cold in the winter, although you know I mustn’t complain too loudly, lest my fellow Canadians remind me of how cold it is there in the winter! *grin* You must have been to Oak Park, Illinois to see the Frank Lloyd Wright homes. Quite spectacular, aren’t they? Thank you so much for your comments, Deb! Please stop by the blog anytime! Cher xo

      Like

  8. June 11, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    I do have taken a wrong train and felt exactly like you; that the whole world is noticing my act. It does take a while to realize that everyone is running in their own life.

    Like

    • June 12, 2015 at 11:27 am

      You have taken the wrong train too? Maybe it happens to a lot of us but we don’t know it! So yes, you know exactly what I mean. It does take a while to realize that no one else knows but us! *LOL* Thank you for your excellent comments! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  9. July 18, 2015 at 10:20 am

    I grew up in Chicago and never took the “L”. Too intimidating. We used to come into downtown from Hyde Park so we always took the IC. You are right though, the train system is great. We started using the trains by ourselves when we were 10 or 11, spent a great deal of time downtown, especially after they built the Water Tower shopping center. Those were great times!!!!! Love your post!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 18, 2015 at 10:24 am

      Well hello to a Chicagoan! It is a great system, but I must admit that it was intimidating to me at first. I think it is a terrific way to (literally) connect the city, its neighborhoods, and yes, the magnificent downtown! Ah, I am so glad you have good memories of the Water Tower. I love it there! Thank you so much!!! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • July 18, 2015 at 10:37 am

        Wish I could come back, but I am not sure I have the stamina for the cold winters anymore. Stuck out here in drought-ridden California.

        Liked by 1 person

      • July 18, 2015 at 10:38 am

        I totally understand that, believe me! However, I will see what we can do about packing up some of this overflowing Lake Michigan water and send it on out to Cali! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • July 18, 2015 at 10:43 am

        Oh – that would be so great. I look to the sky every day – looking for clouds but it remains an unspoiled azure. We are watching the Sequoias die – no water. It is awful.

        Liked by 1 person

      • July 18, 2015 at 10:44 am

        I cannot even imagine what it is like to see those antiques, historical pieces of nature whither. C’mon, Mother Nature, please do your thing!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • July 18, 2015 at 10:47 am

        It is breaking my heart. In fact I think I will do a post on this – take some photos – it is really disheartening!

        Liked by 1 person

      • July 18, 2015 at 10:48 am

        Please do a post on if it you can. I think the one thing we do understand about nature is that we don’t understand nature!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • July 18, 2015 at 10:53 am

        I am going to go out and get some photos – will do a post on the drought by tonight. Thanks for the encouragement!!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • July 18, 2015 at 10:55 am

        I look forward to reading it; thank you for writing about it!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. July 18, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Thanks for Chering this on Suzie’s Blog Party! HA!!!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 18, 2015 at 1:00 pm

      Big hugs to you, Austin!! *LOL* Everytime I read the “Chering” I get a huge grin on my Cher-ing face! 😉 xo

      Liked by 1 person

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