If you'd like to take a ride on a Ravenswood train into the Loop in 1981, just hop aboard John R. Schmidt's Chicago History Today blog over at WBEZ.org.
There (or here) you can watch Schmidt's homemade video from the front of a Ravenswood train. He recently had the video from his tiny, hand-held Super-Eight silent movie camera digitized, and the result is stunning. Though he claims he's not a film-maker, the film is nonetheless riveting.
As he heads south from the Clark Junction into the Loop, you see the old pedestrian bridge at Belmont, and A-B stations. Check out a vastly different North/Clybourn corridor. The nieghborhood was "sketchy," as Schmidt describes it.
The eight-minute video is well worth the time.