[M.M.X.I.V. 305] Unplug the stopper

This is probably one of my most cryptic post titles that I have used.  Strangely enough, despite the use of the word “stopper,” I am not talking about a high card in bridge to prevent the opponents from running the suit.  Instead, the stopper refers to a bottleneck.

In particular, I have this photo (courtesy of redoveryellow.com) that describes the bottleneck quite well!  The picture is quite old, as this is before the Howard station was renovated… before I arrived in Chicago!

howard bottleneck

Although I love going to Chicago for social events, whether it be to hang out with friends from Birthright, or to go to League, or to watch the Huskers games at Wrigleyville bars, getting there is annoying.  If I go by train, it is usually about a Short 40 Minutes (TM) to get to Wrigleyville, a Long 40 Minutes (TM) to get to downtown, and a Double-Long-40 Minutes (TM) to get to League.

Although sometimes I can contract that time by hailing a cab or a Zipcar, those are obviously a tradeoff–I get home much faster (and perhaps safer when returning from a night event), but it sets me back quite a bit of dough.  Yes, I am a bit of a cheapskate in that way, such that many weekend evenings I just stay in Evanston.  However, this weekend will be the third consecutive weekend that I will be out in Chicago late.

(Granted, two weekends ago hardly counts, because I was STAYING in downtown Chicago with my parents and Casey).

Although I usually feel safe on the trains, even late in the evening, I still feel wary about it.  And what is REALLY annoying: the wait at Howard to transfer to the Purple Line.  After my first year, the long wait I often mitigated by taking my bike on the train and just riding back to Evanston from Howard if I didn’t see an imminent Purple Line.  Other times, I would bypass the L entirely and ride my bike both ways from downtown or other places in Chicago.  There is always, however, in that case, the option to baiL out if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

Tonight, I will be going down to Wrigleyville to watch the Nebraska and Northwestern football games (anti-respectively), and then I will have some time to burn until a Hallowe’en party hosted by a few of my friends near Lake Shore Drive.  I am planning on riding my bike, despite the weather being a little bit chilly.  However, that will preclude me from taking a cab to return home, so I have to decide whether I then take the train or ride my bike late at night.

In conclusion, if I could speed up something which drags, it would be transportation to Chicago from Evanston.

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Today is the three-hundred and fifth day of M.M.X.I.V.  That makes forty-three weeks and four days.

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