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The traveling circus on El train

Shooting_dice_1 Last week a friend and I rode the Red Line home from U.S. Cellular Field after the White Sox beat the Twins to win the two-game series.

I thought we were riding on a traveling circus car. First, two 14-year-old boys sat across from each other, taking turns shooting dice. One had a deft move with the dice where he snapped his fingers after each roll. I soon figured out rolling a 7 meant you gave up the dice.

Meanwhile, further down the aisle, two dudes in their early-20s lay completely prone in their seats, long legs reaching across the aisle to rest on the other seat.

At the Washington stop, two 20-something gals in black shirts boarded, one pushing a bike and wearing a fire-engine red bicycle helmet. Beyond those two, I see a 30-ish guy in a blue oxford shirt feverishly typing away on a laptop.

At Belmont, a 30-ish guy boards and stands across from us. He's wearing a white pleated shirt, gray charcoal pants with a white pinstripe through them, and carrying a medium-sized black purse with a pink ribbon affixed.

Finally, a blind guy comes tapping through with his cane, begging for money.

Just another night on the traveling circus known as the Red Line.


yes. i love the red line for this. sometimes, i look around and see all the ages, socioeconomic levels, races, religions and i'm just taken by how great the city is. how much different it is from the small town i grew up in, and how i knew for a long time (as a small child) that i wouldn't be staying there.

the red line is a great form of transportation; i hope that the CTA doesn't really screw that up.

I agree. I love the non-stop visual parade, which is why I always wear sunglasses even though the red line goes underground. I just wish it didn't always smell like old pee.

i miss the cta. I live in Texas now.

Once I got on the Red line at Sheridan to the loop, and as I stepped into the car I noticed that entirely one half was taken up by a large family with about seven kids, some playing bongo drums, some singing, and with the little kids dancing. The other half of the car was packed with "regulars," and nobody on the train for the entire ride to the loop looked at the family or acknowledged their presence. I thought they were pretty good, though.

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