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Welcome to the CTA ball game theater

I love baseball, and go to quite a few games each season, both on the North and South Sides. Since I wasn't born here in Chicago, I have no natural team allegiance. Here's another "crazy ball game story." I suppose I need a new category....

I was standing on the crowded Red Line platform at Sox/35th, waiting for the train going north after a Sox victory. A group of four friends sauntered by, gregariously having a good time. Suddenly, one big guy grabbed his smaller friend around the mid-torso, picked him up and turned him upside down, right near the edge of the platform. He playfully set him down again, thankfully on the platform rather than the tracks.

The guy who had just been bodily manhandled by the red-faced white dude happened to be a black guy. Upon being put down, he shouted out: "White people own the world by acting crazy."

Later on, the same uplifted guy, started cheering for the White Sox: "Can we get some love for the White Sox? Yeah! Let's hear it for the White Sox! They just beat the world champs! F**k the Cubs!"

As I say, I love baseball, and have come to love the CTA baseball theater.


Inside the packed 35th St. Red Line station following the Sox game last Sunday came the garbled announcment "No Northbound Trains - Walk to the Green Line". As the masses slowly headed east across the bridge, a few of us looked back in amazement to see a northbound train waiting while more and more people continued to board. I decided to go back to the station. A very helpful CPD cop was letting riders know that a track was out, but northbound trains were going through. The train was still at the station. I boarded and got home with no problems.

Once again, why can't the CTA communicate better?

Hey, I was at that game too! I never take the red line though, too many people. I'd rather walk the block to the Green Line and not deal with the suburbanites afraid of the ghetto.

When I hit the Sox games, I'll try and grab the Red. This usually only works if you can get out of the park quickly. On full nights, they stop letting people into the station until things clear up and the line backs up all the way to Wentworth. WHen the lines are like that, I usually trek over to the Green.

Another secret is to cut through the north parking lots and use the 33rd St. entrance to the Sox-35th platform. There is no line and you end up right at the front of the train. There is no farecard machine at that entrance though so make sure you have a balance on your card before you hike over there. Oh, and that entrance is currently being renovated and won't be done until October. Too late for this season...unless the Sox go deep into the playoffs ;)

Ok, so last night I was riding the red line north from the Cubs game with my three year old daughter.

We always walk to the Sheridan platform rather than be crushed by the mob at Addison.

A train arrives fairly quickly, we board and my daughter gets a seat while I stand beside her.

It was a rather uneventful trip; that is until we are pulling out of the Loyola station. After the doors had closed and the train had begun inching forward the driver makes the following announcement. "Again, this train will be running express to Howard. If you need off at Morse or Jarvis you will need to exit the train at Howard and catch a south bound train back to your stop."

Again?!? He hadn't announced it once the entire time I had been on the train.

As we slowly passed my stop on the outer track, I see a large quantity of rail repair equipment on the inner track.

When we disembark at Howard I stopped at the conductors window and asked him why he didn't make the announcement BEFORE leaving Loyola. His only response? A very unconvincing "Sorry".

Sir, I wish I had taken down your number. Instead I will just give the number of the lead car (2673) and say that you arrived at Howard at exactly 11pm. Hopefully someone at the CTA will read this and can track you down.

On a more positive note, as we crossed the bridge (stinking of urine) to the southbound platform, my daughter told me "Look daddy, there is the train garden where all the trains live."

Argh.. just realized, the car's number was 2763.

"Hey, I was at that game too! I never take the red line though, too many people. I'd rather walk the block to the Green Line and not deal with the suburbanites afraid of the ghetto."

You'll get robbed eventually.

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