Clarke/Lake Station on the Blue Line, Chicago

I could talk about the engineering of the rail transport in Chicago: how some of it is elevated and some of it is subterranean. How underground you could be anywhere, how above ground you can only be where you are. I am not going to talk about it though, because there’s nothing to say, not really.

I could mention how the weathered wooden platforms on the elevated sections remind me of Baltimore by Nina Simone and how I am always afflicted with a desire to photo the treads and risers on the staircases, both here and abroad. I could mention those things, but it might make me seem weird, so I won’t.

Public transport by train makes me think about my Grandpa and the red Central line on the London Underground. It makes me think of being gently rattled out of Leyton, after waiting for a train for Epping, or a journey in the opposite direction, Going Underground at Stratford on the way to Bethnal Green.

In Chicago you can go to Harlem and California on the Blue Line; in London, Mile End and Holborn on the Red. Both lines intersect with those of a different colour, travelling in different directions. In London I spoke to Americans returning to Atlanta, in Chicago I spoke to a black man about Marcus Garvey; all of them strangers, me the most. Taking a city train is a meditation, with some psychedelia thrown in, when you open your eyes.

Or maybe that’s just me. Like I said, I could talk about it, but I won’t.

bluelinechicago

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Posted on April 25, 2013, in Architecture, Photography, Travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Wray Barton Wrecking Crew

    Am loving your blogs at the moment. That is all.

    • Thank you. It seems that being fired across the Atlantic in a tin can (at 38,000 feet/500 mph) does broaden the old horizons.

  2. The London Underground [52] – also known popularly as The Tube – has trains that criss-cross London in the largest underground rail network in the world (it was also the first, the first section of the Metropolitan Line dates back to 1863). The Tube is an easy method of transport even for new visitors to London.

  3. Sam Mullins has been Director of the London Transport Museum since 1994, years which have confirmed his passion for this remarkable city and its transport.Oliver Green is Research Fellow at the London Transport Museum, having been the museum’s first Curator between 1979 and 1989 and later returning as Head Curator from 2001 until 2009. David Bownes was Head Curator at the London Transport Museum from 2009 until 2012, and is now Assistant Director (Collections) at the National Army Museum, London. The authors will give a three part series of illustrated talks early in 2013 revealing new perspectives on how the Underground has shaped London over the last 150 years.

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