Window watching on the Green Line


James Porter, pictured above at the O’Hare Line’s Western stop, is one of Chicago’s foremost authorities on getting around the town without an automobile. As a music journalist, singer, harmonica player, and one half of the DJ duo East of Edens Soul Express, he travels from his home in the Mid-South neighborhood of Chatham to every nook and cranny of the city to get to record stores, concerts and gigs, usually by walking, bus and train. He recently contributed a post about sights visible from the Brown Line. As promised, here’s the sequel, James’ field guide to the Green Line.

When I think of the Green Line, I think of my old cassette Walkman. One morning in the early Nineties, I remember standing at the 47th Street stop waiting for the next train. At one point I ejected the tape, and as God is my witness, that cassette flew straight to the rooftop of 316 E. 47th street, which is located right under the ‘L’ stop. I didn’t make any attempt to get it back, either – I purchased the tape in a bargain bin for $1, so I just went back and got another copy for the same price. But I was more fascinated than anything by this impromptu physics lesson. I had no idea that the eject button of a portable tape player had that much velocity. So if anyone ever found a Flamin’ Groovies tape on the roof of what is now the New York Deli, now you know why.

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Walking Madison Street


[This piece also appeared in “Checkerboard City,” John’s weekly transportation column which appears in print in Newcity magazine, hitting the streets on Wednesday nights.]

Chicago’s Madison Street, named for the chief author of the U.S. Constitution, runs through the most expensive real estate in town as well as some of the most underserved neighborhoods. As the city’s north-south bifurcating street, it forms the Mason-Dixon Line between the North Side and the South Side. Over the years I’ve hiked the entire lengths of several Chicago thoroughfares in search of fascinating sights and interesting people, so it was only a matter of time until I walked Madison, a relatively short street at eight miles, but dense with landmarks.

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Recaps from Wednesday’s Streets for Cycling Plan meeting at Garfield Park


Both John and I attended the Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 meeting at the Garfield Park Conservatory on Wednesday. The project leaders (Mike Amsden from the Chicago Department of Transportation, and Mark de la Vergne from Sam Schwartz Engineering, pictured) announced 4.3 new miles of protected bike lanes for the west side boulevard system to be installed this year in the main lanes to slow traffic in the Lawndale and East Garfield Park neighborhoods. Continue reading Recaps from Wednesday’s Streets for Cycling Plan meeting at Garfield Park