1. Last Friday night was my last free Friday night until the Chicago Marathon is over (I’ll occasionally have long runs on Sundays, in which case I’ll have a free Friday, but those will be few and far between), so I celebrated with a Jack Johnson concert!
The concert took place at Northerly Island, and the forecast all week called for rain. Fortunately, by Thursday the meteorologists were calling for “considerable cloudiness,” and when Friday itself rolled around, it was just as nice as the rest of the week had been.
I did not do my due diligence and went into the concert fairly unprepared, which meant I mostly stood around and enjoyed the music rather than singing along at the top of my lungs. Jack Johnson’s music is so relaxing and chill, though, that I didn’t mind.
I did get particularly excited, though, when about halfway through the show, Jack Johnson announced that ANTHONY RIZZO was at the show *all of the heart-eyed emojis*. I don’t find it particularly easy to pick a favorite Cubs player, but if I had to pick-if I were buying a jersey, for example–I’d pick Rizzo. He got engaged the night before and was there to celebrate, according to the picture he posted on Twitter. I don’t particularly care why he was there. I just think it’s cool that we both chose to spend our Friday night the same way. #besties
2. If you are not like me and don’t have your Saturday mornings booked from now until early October, CrossTown Fitness has launched a new stand up paddle boarding class for the summer that I think sounds awesome. The class takes place at North Ave. Beach on Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. (though check the online schedule for specifics, including cancellations) and includes 30 minutes of an HIIT workout on the beach followed by 30 minutes of SUP on Lake Michigan. It’s also free if you’re a CrossTown Fitness member, which, considering that your average SUP rental will cost you about $30 for an hour, is a pretty good deal, I’d say!
3. I did the coolest thing of my whole entire LIFE (up to this point) on Tuesday!
So, I’m a pretty big history nerd. I can spend hours upon hours reading historic information, browsing historic maps, looking at historic pictures. If I could have any superpower, it would be the ability to travel through time between the past and the present invisibly. I don’t want to alter the course of history at all: I just want to see it with my own two eyes. I want to see what Chicago looked like before the fire. I want to see how the neighborhoods have changed. I want to see which buildings existed 100 years ago, what they housed, what their interiors looked like. I want to know what it was like walking down the sidewalks during the 1850s, the 1920s, the 1960s, and every time before June of 2012 when I moved here. This, clearly, is an impossible wish, but it doesn’t change the fact that I desperately want to know what it was like to be here long before I was here.
Because of that, whenever I have the opportunity to in any way engage with history, I jump on it. Tuesday was the 125th anniversary of the first elevated rail service in the city of Chicago (which, through mergers and consolidation, resulted in today’s CTA). To celebrate, the CTA brought out its Heritage Fleet: one, two-car 4000-series train built in 1923, and one 2400-series train, built in 1976, both of which took continuous trips around the Loop on Tuesday afternoon.
I’ll be honest: I really thought I was the only person who could possibly find riding a 94-year-old train around the Loop interesting, but I was quite wrong! The platform at Clark and Lake was PACKED when I got there, particularly by the entrance, so I kept walking down east down the platform, and by an incredible stroke of luck, managed to stop right where the front door of the first train car stopped once it arrived in the Loop. After letting a variety of important people off the train, I got on and went for a ride!
You guys. It was SO COOL. Look at all the differences!
Seats without indentations indicating where each person should sit, plus bars that only wrap around the corner of the seat, rather than over the back of the entire seat. Notice the open window as well: the windows on these trains can open from the bottom (which seems insanely dangerous?! How did kids not fall out of the windows?? There aren’t screens, and the windows go WAY lower then the ones on the current train models, landing around your waist rather than just under your shoulder.), because the trains in 1923, unsurprisingly, didn’t have air conditioning.
Incandescent lighting, rather than fluorescent lighting.
A string that ran down the center of the car to hold for stability, rather than the poles that run from the ceiling to the tops of seats or hand straps that span the length of the car (there were hand straps at the front and back of the car, however).
And, of course, a slew of historic CTA ads, not all of which were necessarily historically accurate to the the time of the train’s service (it stopped running in 1973, so obviously the ad for the new Red Line, debuting in 1993–which, side note, was not a new line in the sense that it didn’t exist before that, but rather was a new route with a new name, as the colored line names didn’t begun until 1993 [crazy, right? That’s only 24 years ago!]–was not on the train any time during its 50 year service, spanning 1923 to 1973), but were fascinating nevertheless.
The train was crowded, but it was SO worth it. Traveling the same way people nearly 100 years ago would’ve traveled absolutely made my day 😀
Have you ever ridden in a historic vehicle?
What was the last concert you saw?