For the first time in the five years I have been working at my current job, I drove to work. And now I remember why I love public transportation.
I figured driving would be the best option as I had a doctor’s appointment on the other side of the city at 5:30. Since Brian’s out of town, I didn’t want to have to work around the train schedule. Doing so would result in a big possibility the dogs would have to wait 12 hours before I got home to let them out. They, unfortunately, still haven’t figured out how to turn the doorknobs with their paws 🙂
So five minutes on the Dan Ryan — side tangent: for those not from Chicago, we refer to our freeways by their honorary names and not their actual names like I-90. An old friend of mine used to say when he first moved here he thought the traffic reports were in some sort of foreign code that he didn’t think he would ever crack. I’ve lived here nearly 15 years and still haven’t fully cracked the code. Anyway .. Driving on the Dan Ryan … I witnessed no fewer than five woman driving at high speeds doing their freaking make-up while driving. One was even applying eyeliner!! When I noticed she got behind me, I nearly caused an accident myself trying to change lanes to get as far away from her as possible. I also saw one man reading the newspaper and too many drivers to count who were texting.
I finally made it downtown and went to the parking garage closest to my office. I took my ticket and drove up the ramp then up and down each aisle looking for an available spot that did not have a reserved sign on it. I kept following the signs that said parking and when I got to the top floor of the garage, the signs showed an arrow indicating more parking and the exit were the same way. I turned and passed even more occupied or otherwise reserved parking spots then there was a turnaround. When I came around the turnaround, there was a big Do Not Enter sign in the direction of the parking spots. The only other place left to go was the exit! I had no choice but to pay $6 for the pleasure of leaving! (Oh, yes, I will be getting that money back!)
All the parking garages in the vicinity of my office are owned by the same company. They all operate under the same pricing structure which, assuming a spot is found, were all going to be $30 for the day. I remembered passing signs for the Millinneum Park garage, where I knew there would be plenty of spots, showing the early bird special. If you are in before 10 a.m., according to the signs, it is only $14 as long as you’re out by 7 p.m. I figured the $16 savings was worth the extra walk. I headed down into the garage and as I was collecting my ticket, I noticed the sign that said “special event” parking is in place which means $14 now has turned into $30. Not sure what the special event was. Maybe it’s for days of the week that end in the letter y?! I sucked it up and paid after realizing I was over an hour late to work at this point.
After leaving work, I jumped on the Kennedy Expressway headed to the north side. I almost got side-swiped by a woman on a cell phone not paying attention as she changed lanes. I finally made it to my appointment a whole 10 minutes early and I actually got called back right away! But … That only meant I got to hear I needed to have the one procedure I fear the most, but somehow knew I would need, a whole 10 minutes earlier than I would have otherwise! Oh joy.
I decided I needed to salvage this day somehow. I was very close to Roscoe Village, where Brian and I had our first apartment together more than 10 years ago (wow! Time flies!) There was an awesome sandwich shop we used to think had the best sandwiches ever that was across the street from where we lived. I didn’t even know if the place was still in business or if it was possible to find parking, but decided to give it a shot.
I turned from Hoyne on to Roscoe St. And then I saw it: Costello’s Sandwich Shop, with an open parking spot right in front!
The food, including the tuna pasta salad, which I had completely forgotten about, was just as good as I remember. And tomorrow morning, the commute on the Metra will be just as good as I remember.