(at the Western stop looking down Western Ave)
Last week we had a couple of car-less days, which is inevitable when two busy adults share one car. Lucky for us, we live in a city with pretty great public transportation - sure, not perfect, and people will gripe about the delays, the smells, the routes - but at the end of the day, I could still go about my business because of my easy access to the train (and buses too). The downside was that an outing that usually takes a bit over an hour took three! Ella was a trouper, though, making friends with fellow train riders on the way into the city and sleeping in our carrier on the way back home. I took the opportunity, while she slept, to take some blast photos of the urban landscape passing before me.
(garages on the brown line)
Prior to Ella, I rode the train daily to and from work, as well as on errands and other outings. We don't ride the train as much anymore, our world has shrunk to our neighborhood, and though we are certainly still in the city, I miss my daily rides downtown (especially in the morning when I could quietly read the paper or just sit and think, two luxuries I don't have as often now that we have a little one!!)
(alleys along the tracks)
I saw some neat things while riding the train - the old burned out roof with the exploded air conditioner, the loft with the huge windows and neat light fixture, and little signs with messages directed to train riders.
(backyards with a view)
Then there are the passengers...the guy who only danced while the train was moving and stood still at each stop, the proselytizing gentleman who walked between moving cars, the flirting strangers. When I was pregnant, riding the train was a daily social experiment - I laughed (on the inside) at the riders who pretended they didn't see my 9 month belly hanging in their faces, watching other standing riders give me sidelong glances as they wondered what to do, and then (sometimes) someone would offer up their seat.
(a passing train)
We used to joke that upon her birth, Ella would be comforted by three voices: mine, Ben's and the train voice that announces each stop and that the "doors are closing." Based on how quickly our little Bean drifts off when on the El (the train), I think we may have been right!