This is becoming an old hat for me, ladies and gentlemen. I’m leaving the house later and later now that I see how quickly the bus shoots down Chicago Ave and deposits me into River North each morning for work. There have been a few snags here and there but I give days one through three without a car an A-.
Snag #1: I should have gotten a weekly pass. They’re a steal at $23, and with a single bus ride going for $2.25, seven days of just two rides is about $32. I’ve been using quarters all this time and purchasing the pass with only four or five days to go is a waste of money. I wish I had gotten the pass on day one. Monthly passes are $86, or around $2.75 every day, and if I continue to ride the bus and the el when this is done and I have access to a car again, I will definitely be picking one up.
Snag #2: Planning my errands isn’t as easy as it was before. On Wednesday I needed to stop and get a twelve-pack after work; some lady friends were stopping by the apartment and I was all out. I hopped off at my regular stop thinking I’d just walk four or five blocks out of my way, to the corner store I normally patronize, and pick one up. I had second thoughts after deboarding, and as I stood on the corner I instead pulled out my phone and Google mapped Current Location to Liquor Store. A small packaged goods store just minutes away from where I was standing popped up. It was only a two block detour on the way home. I headed in that direction. Packaged good stores are odd, and I’ve only seen them in Chicago. Not just a liquor store, and not just a bar, they’re a hybrid of both that usually only take cash. I walked into Ola’s, I think it was called, and saw that it was more of a bar than anything, with two smallish coolers for beer and a selection of bottles behind the counter where a woman sat alone polishing glassware. One look at the prices and I turned right back around. $22 for a case of Pilsner Urquell, which goes for around $13 or $14 at most places.
My fault for not just going for what I knew. Back to my regular store I walked, adding four more blocks to the initial five block trip. That was my exercise for the day. First world problems, huh?
Since I’ve only used public transportation on my way to and from work, and have only needed to hop on one city bus to get there, I’m eager to see how I fare over the weekend and looking forward to spending more time in my own neighborhood and utilizing all that it has to offer. Chicago is a huge city but it so often feels like a small town when you break it down by neighborhood. Mine has everything I need within walking distance: grocery stores, restaurants, boutiques, bars, cafes, libraries, parks, farmer’s markets, theatres. There’s even a festival just a five minute stroll up the street going on this weekend, and of course I have my digital photography workshop with Learnapalooza later on this morning.
I don’t really need to leave my ‘hood at all. Everything I need is right here. Don’t ya love city living?
Week Without A Car: Day One