I decided to take a trip into downtown Chicago yesterday. I could have either taken a Metra train or the CTA. Both stations are equidistant to the house. I opted for the "L" since it has been years (decades?) since I have taken it. Boy! The changes! Gone are the line names like "Douglas Park," replaced by colors. The line to Cicero is the Pink Line. Fabulous! They are also switching over to a new fare system which is a complete disaster/cluster frack. The fare was $2.25, but if I used the new system for 1 ride it jumps to $3.00. WTF?!? A roundtrip should be $4.50, but if I used the new system, the minimum ticket was $5. Fortunately there was someone there to help out with the new system, and there was a way to use the old system. So for $4.50 I got my RT ticket to The Loop. And The Loop it was! Believe it or not, I had never ridden the elevated line around downtown. The Douglas Park Line always went down to the Eisenhower Expressway and then underground. They had completely re-routed the line so it now circles The Loop. Of course these changes had been made years ago, but that just shows you how long it has been since I had last ridden!
Once downtown the plan was to just wander around. The only definite objective was to find a sculpture exhibit at Millennium Park. Several months ago, Kitty and I were watching CBS Sunday Morning which had a story about a Japanese sculptor. Our furry alarms went off when they showed he was working on a project which involved dozens of brightly-colored tanuki. When they said that the exhibit would be on display at Millennium Park, I knew I must find it! And find it I did! Why hasn't someone fursuited this?!? If you're going to the con-which-shall-not-be-named, grab your suit and head downtown!
I thought this was an interesting angle of "The Bean"
So after walking around the park a bit, taking a stroll by the Lake, and capturing a few train shots along the Metra electrified line, I hopped back on the "L" and headed home. I almost had a moment there sitting on the lakeshore looking up at the high-rise condos thinking, "Yeah. I could live here." All I would have to do to bring myself back to reality, however, would be to turn on the local news or pick up a Tribune. No thanks.