Musings on 90/94

kennedy1"Why did you drive over? Why not just take the train?" asked Mike, the newest resident of West Town.

"Because it only took me five minutes."

West Town, that neighborhood west of River North. Parts of it are accessible by the Blue Line; most of it is situated west of the I-90 bridge. I don't know much about it, and besides Mike, I don't know anyone else who lives there or wants to go there.

"Five minutes. Really?"

"Yup. On the expressway."
Yes, the mighty Kennedy. Apparently sometime  after 9 pm when the five-hour "rush hour" ends, southeast-bound traffic begins to get thin. I was able to merge into traffic from Irving Park Rd. and not grit my teeth or murmur obscenities under my breath.

Seasoned Kennedy drivers might notice one of the digital overhead billboards at Addison Ave. with an update of travel times. I smile when I see  "Circle: 9 minutes."

It takes nine minutes to drive or ride on a bus from Lake Shore Drive to Lincoln Ave. on Fullerton Ave. Maybe closer to twenty on foot.  But NINE minutes (without traffic) on a distance that equates to nearly 90 blocks.

"Ugh. But you're practically in the suburbs"  remarked coworker Peter.

"Actually, I can drive to certain suburbs within minutes, if I-90 or 94 is clear" I quipped.
Not everything is located in the city of Chicago proper. As much as some "die hard" city folk dislike to admit, you will have to leave Lakeview and go to a suburb several times while living in Chicago.

Now, no one likes driving the Edens expressway. It's the most inaccessible interstate highway in the region, and it's jammed in illogical directions at illogical times. But sometimes you have to go to the Botanical Gardens or Pita Inn. Even if it's a P.I.T.A on the Edens.

"Ugh. But who wants to go see some gardens in the suburbs," said Peter.
"I don't know. Maybe those who want to see trees and grass."
"That's true," resigned Peter. "I'd like to take my dog out to somewhere that has trees, parks, yards, etc. "

" mean like my neighborhood? 'The suburbs'?"
"Aw, shut up."

Filed under: Chicago, Highways, Neighborhoods


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