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I grew up in Chicago. The "L" makes me nostalgic. Over and out.

Posted by Vince | October 14, 2008 1:31 PM

Hey Dan, let me know if you make it out Oak Park way.

Posted by Banna | October 14, 2008 1:35 PM

Yep, that's a scratched, dirty El window all right. Wave as you go past me in the Monadnock Building.

Posted by Joseph J. Finn | October 14, 2008 1:37 PM

The orange line is seriously pretty amazing. It usually takes about 25 minutes to get to Midway from downtown (faster than driving). Though, if you live on the north side, it’s a bit of a pain to get downtown and then transfer.

But, the train to O’Hare is a huge joke. Especially recently, the slow zones and construction mean it could take an hour and a half from downtown, and you might have to transfer to a shuttle bus somewhere on your epic journey.

Its a gorgeous day here in Chicago for you...

Posted by Julie in Chicago | October 14, 2008 1:37 PM

Dan, pull your head out of your pit bull-fearing, youth pastor indicting ass for a second and realize that Seattle is NOT Chicago.

Prop 1 is a gut bomb for local taxation, and considering how much more the last light rail project costs than originally projected, the numbers are a fucking fairy tale. It won't be priceless regardless of the effect light rail will have on transit, which will be minute unless you live in the Rainier Valley or can hold out until 2016 or 2024. Don't hold your breath.

Posted by Bus Bitch | October 14, 2008 1:38 PM

Agree that every city should have a train from the airport, believe that's the plan for Seattle. You might want to violate your rule about talking to the riff raff asked someone what they think of Chicago train service. They'll tell you that they've been doing tons of construction and it's really unpredictable. When I was there a couple weeks ago (on a weekend), you had to get off the train, onto a bus, go a couple miles, get off the train and get back on the bus. Took well over an hour to get to the Loop, and once there there were no connections at the station, and I had to walk a mile to the Sheraton.

Why don't you do a little research to back up your incessant whining.

Posted by left coast | October 14, 2008 1:42 PM

Slog was much better when you guys were afraid Obama might lose.
Stick to politics on any level.
Navel gazing bullshit= boring.

Posted by Scott Dow | October 14, 2008 1:47 PM

Chicago CTA fast and reliable? Dan I think your plane was hijacked because there is no way you are in Chicago.

Posted by amy | October 14, 2008 1:49 PM

I have an alternate funding proposal for ST2: we tax most people 0.5%, but for all the whiners it's 2.0%. That'll give them something to bitch about.

Posted by Greg | October 14, 2008 1:51 PM

In addition to regular business, the Capitol Hill Community Council will discuss Prop 1 with a rep from Transportation Choices this Thursday night. If you want a chance to learn more and discuss the prop with your neighbors, please attend.

CHCC Public Meeting — October
WHEN: Thursday, October 16, from 7pm-9pm
WHERE: Seattle Central Community College, Room #3200

Posted by jseattle | October 14, 2008 1:57 PM

I'm looking forward to the impressive mobility it will give to our free-riding population of feculent alcoholics.

Posted by kinaidos | October 14, 2008 2:01 PM

Yeah, next time try flying into O'Hare. Shuttle buses in between train segments? I'll take the express bus into downtown Seattle for 50 cents cheaper, thank you. The CTA sucks if you live in Hyde Park.

Posted by annie | October 14, 2008 2:04 PM

The L is okay, but Chicago's bus system SUCKS!

Posted by DOUG. | October 14, 2008 2:04 PM

Okay. That blocky building on the right hand side--the short one--is awesome. I remember that from our ride into the city from Midway a couple summers ago. I love Chicago.

Posted by Balt-O-Matt | October 14, 2008 2:20 PM

Such a lovely city. Such a beautiful day. Such a cool train. *sigh*

Geez. It does sound heartwrenching. Seattle must really, fucking suck.

Posted by Cat in Chicago | October 14, 2008 2:24 PM

I recently went to Chicago for the first time and received some extraordinary kindnesses from strangers. Thanks to the nice guys at The Second Story Bar for making a girl feel welcome.

Posted by D. | October 14, 2008 2:24 PM

Okay, maybe that came out wrong. The Second Story Bar is a gay bar. They were nice to me. Really nice and welcoming.

Posted by D. | October 14, 2008 2:26 PM

Sure, Dan, we straight people have special priveleges, but come on, we deserve it. Because we're so good looking.

Posted by Fnarf | October 14, 2008 2:29 PM

Heading to Chicago on Thursday...cann't WAIT!!! Chicago is what Seattle dreams it could be!

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | October 14, 2008 2:33 PM

Thank you for informing us ignorant hicks what goes on in this crazy world, doggone it!

Posted by JW | October 14, 2008 2:42 PM

Welcome back Dan! Actually, if you keep apprised of the track work, the El is very reliable. Slow zones are annoying, sure, but really not that bad... just look it up on the web before leaving. The Orange line, being the last to be constructed, is absolutely reliable. amy has no idea what she's talking about.

The buses, on the other hand, are abysmal.

Posted by eric sic | October 14, 2008 2:49 PM

Oh shit, people complaining about the CTA are everywhere.
I've been to a lot of towns, and rode numerous buses/trains... and NOTHING annoys me more than people complaining about the CTA.
Two lines run all night, the buses are fairly reliable (at least my Diversey and Belmont buses). It's not perfect, but no system is.
It is much better than Seattle's transit, that's for damn sure.

Posted by chicago | October 14, 2008 2:51 PM

Also Add:
Come into my Whole Foods and I'll give you free shit!!

Posted by Chicago | October 14, 2008 2:53 PM

@21. Knowing about the fact that your trip to O'Hare will take an hour and a half and require a shuttle transfer is helpful in reducing the odds that you'll miss your flight. But, it doesn't make it any less ridiculous that the trip will take that long.

Posted by Julie in Chicago | October 14, 2008 3:00 PM

annie, I don't see where you're getting the idea of shuttle buses in between train segments. In the downtown transit tunnel - just the last few stops on the line - there will be buses in the tunnel separated from trains. From the airport to the international district, it's all trains.

And with ST2, you'll no longer see buses in the tunnel when the new rail lines open.

In addition, the 194 will no longer operate once Link opens. And we don't know if it'll even be 50c more expensive - the fare on Link hasn't been settled on.

Please be sure to be informed before voting!

Posted by Ben Schiendelman | October 14, 2008 3:17 PM
26 looks sunny and warm there...a beautiful autumn day.

Posted by michael strangeways | October 14, 2008 3:20 PM

I believe she is talking about the slow-zone repairs on the Blue Line bettween Jefferson Park and O'hare (In Chicago)
Some weekends and for two weeks in late summer they had shuttle buses running instead of the train between a few stops.
It was pretty annoying, but had to be done.

Posted by chicago | October 14, 2008 3:24 PM

Dan, I'm not ragging on your bro, but it really bugs me when straight people refer to their long-term significant other as their "partner." Anyone other homo-slogs feel this way?

Posted by Chris | October 14, 2008 3:25 PM

Wouldn't be a Seattle blog without a bunch of passive agressive pussies whining about real transit in a real city. I'm counting down the days until I get the fuck away from all of you. Let the whining begin - Seattle is NOT SF. It's not even Portland. Suck it.

Posted by Cascadia Sucks | October 14, 2008 3:29 PM

And we're counting the days until you leave, #29. I think it's the best for everyone involved.

Posted by Greg | October 14, 2008 3:39 PM

30: I always love that "We hate you too, waahhhhhh, give me my toys back" shit that Seattle people try to dish out when somebody has the audacity to call Seattle out. Boise trying to be SF.

Posted by kanzleramt | October 14, 2008 3:51 PM

I love the view of the el from the hotels near the airport as dusk settles in.

It makes me think of what we could have been, but aren't.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 14, 2008 3:51 PM


Typical WA d-bag response - no rising to the defense of your hometown, just an apathetic farewell, or a a huffy "good riddance" . Similar to what the Sonics got when they got the fuck out of town.

Posted by PA | October 14, 2008 3:51 PM

If you want a city to perve on I would recommend you check out Toronto. God they have good public transit.

Posted by Sir Learnsalot | October 14, 2008 4:00 PM

@31: As long as you get the fuck out. That's the important thing.

Posted by Greg | October 14, 2008 4:34 PM

With the construction, it took me an hour and a half on the train from O'Hare. Kind of sucked on a Sunday night, but it beats taking a cab - anyone who knows Chicago will tell you that the traffic there is as bad anywhere. Dan is whining about Seattle being worse than Chicago, but he'd be hysterics if he had to deal with Chicago traffic on a daily basis. That's not to say that Chicago doesn't have perks - Wrigley is awesome, and the architecture is very interesting - just to say that Dan is a passive-agressive whiner.

Posted by left coast | October 14, 2008 5:05 PM

i would like to point out, in a tone that is something between smug and insufferable, that the town you and your hot-as-snot, speedo-sporting husband *hate* (portland) DOES have a fast, reliable train from the airport to downtown. for $2:30. (it was $2, but they jacked it up on 1 sept to compensate for skyrocketing gas prices in the last fiscal quarter.)

and we live in a COW TOWN.

take that! bwa ha ha ha.

Posted by happy hedonist | October 14, 2008 8:09 PM

Dan, you are so close. Come to Madison!

Posted by 4f...sake | October 14, 2008 8:32 PM

Priceless? We can argue about the actual price tag all day, but the idea that ST2 is priceless...well, that makes me even less inclined to agree with you.

With or without ST2, Seattle will finally have our beloved train to the airport. It'll be marginally more reliable than the current 194. Maybe there will be fewer hobos; I don't really know yet.

ST2, if it passes, will be great for folks who commute from Redondo Beach to Overlake. It'll be great for folks who choose to live about a billion miles away from their places of employment and have a work schedule rigid enough to accommodate Sounder schedules.

In short, it will be great for about two or three dozen people. The city dwellers, the urbanites, the folks who ride transit every day and live in apartments? Well, we get to pick up the price tag.

But hey, whatever helps you sleep at night. Chicago, San Francisco, and Portland are all very nice this time of year, and I'm sure they'd love to have you...

Posted by joykiller | October 14, 2008 10:21 PM

I just can't believe that people would complain about CTA construction delays. For years, the infrastructure was left to age and crumble. Slow trains, squeeling rails. Yeah, it sucks to get off a train and have to take a shuttle for a few weeks. But over just the last few months, the system has had 40 years of wear and tear erased.

I was in Chicago 2 weeks ago and couldn't believe how fast the new track was-- the red line hasn't moved that fast since I was a kid. Then we reached the end of the repairs at about Wilson, and hit the brakes. "Chugga-chugga-Sqeeeeel!"

By January, all those old slow zones are planned to be freshly tied track. A sweet ride for the next few decades.

So if you are a Seattle person who just happened to hit Chicago during repairs, you got the shaft. When you run a system for 130 years or so, it occasionally needs serious work.

Posted by eclexia | October 15, 2008 12:10 AM

@28: I actually call her my "girlfriend" or "sweetheart." "Partner" is Dan's phrase.

Posted by bill | October 15, 2008 6:59 AM

@37: My boyfriend is hot-as-snot, thanks, and does look great in a Speedo, thanks. But we don't hate Portland. He used to, because he'd only spent time in PDX back when his father was dying at OHSU, but the birth of our son at OHSU, and our frequent trips down to PDX ever since, turned him around.

We love Portland—and we're aware of your light rail trains to the airport, which I've have the pleasure of riding and writing about. Sheesh!

Posted by Dan Savage | October 15, 2008 8:11 AM

sorry, dan. (i actually knew that about your kid and terry, i got the book. apparently a lot of people didn't, because they believe your heinous lies about your age, but w'ev.)

there's not much portland did right in terms of planning since the 1970s, so i just had to boast a little. we have a mildly bitter relationship with vancouver (washington) over their voting down our light-rail proposal over the river. perhaps i unfairly conveyed some of that to the seattle scene, thinking, what is it with washingtonians and their unreasonable fear of light-rail?

so let me sell it to your compatriots:

light rail really *is* magic. just do it, you'll be glad you did. it does solve problems. it doesn't solve the problem of crap-ass traffic on freeways, because no matter how many lanes you build, there will always be people to drive on them until they are uncomfortably packed and then immobilized. it's the feeling of having *no choice* but to waste so much time in these wretched conditions that makes drivers unreasonable and dangerous.

folks used to bitch *constantly* here about the sunset highway and the banfield before the light rail went in, and now? there's still some bitching, but it's not the furious, aggressive bitching of people who are trapped in a cage and can't get out. it's the mild bitching of people who choose to drive in light of all available options and want something to bitch about.

now people gripe about I-5 and 205, because it's the next place we need light rail. good. the people of milwaukie got their gripe in first and attended the planning meetings, so it looks like they're next on the list after the 205 line goes in. hopefully the I-5 corridor will be next.

the only people still bitching about the light rail we already invested in are angry redneck suburbanites who don't ride it. every time a new proposal arrives, a few lunatics in the far-outlying areas vent some self-serving bullshit about how their statistics about light rail *prove unconditionally* what a waste of money it is, and the people of portland (apparently) roll their eyes and vote for it anyway. which is why we have the world-class transportation system we have today.

there will always be people who want instant gratification - in so very many things - but there is no instant solution to traffic. the arrival of people will always outpace the capacity to transport them. rail has much better potential to transport people in volume than roads have. invest in rail. it is safer, cheaper, it requires less money to maintain, and it is a better use of resources than roads. and it's also a hell of a lot more rewarding to spend your commute reading the paper, sipping your coffee, cuddling your kid, making phone calls, and listening to music than snarling at the car in front of you. we all know drivers do all those things are more, much more, when they shouldn't be. on the train, you may annoy some people, but you're not annoying them *and* endangering their lives.

don't be scared, washington residents. embrace the future and vote that shit in. you'll be glad you did.

Posted by happy hedonist | October 15, 2008 9:06 AM

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