Yesterday, I posted the photo below with three of my favorite anecdotes from years spent riding the el (aka Chicago’s public transit system). I quickly got a bunch of responses from fellow Chicago ladies sharing their hilarious (and horrifying) tales of public transportation. That got me thinking about those strange years following college in which taking an Uber (or, you know, a cab because Uber didn’t even exist yet) was a luxury you just couldn’t afford, and getting into a small metal box suspended above the city was NBD. There were hours spent waiting outside in the cold, trains missed by less than a minute that ruined your entire morning, and, inevitably, the person that didn’t understand basic human decency speaking loudly on a cell phone.
On the other hand, I credit my morning el rides with inspiring me to start blogging all those years ago. I remember watching the fashionable career girls get on at the brown line Armitage stop and thinking “Ugh, I want to dress like that!” It was the first time I had daily inspiration and disposable income to develop the style I wanted. My love of stripes, statement jewelry, and chic winter accessories grew exponentially during that period, and they remain a cornerstone of my wardrobe to this day.
So thank you to all the Chicago girls who influenced me all those years ago and still do today! I don’t take the el very regularly anymore since I live and work in the same neighborhood, but the last time I did find myself on those elevated tracks I was struck by what a cool snippet you can get of a city based on its public transit. You can also get a ton of hilarious and horrifying stories to regale strangers later on Instagram. So what about you? Any insane public transit stories we need to hear? PLEASE share. We’re all in this together.