The commuter trains in Chicago run like radial arms from the city’s center out to the suburbs.
They pass through the rich mosaic of neighborhoods and suburbs that make Chicago everything it is or seems to be.
They pass by quiet neighborhoods, gridlocked freeways and sports stadiums that rise out of flat expanses of concrete like dark steel fortresses.
They pass by white neighborhoods and non-white neighborhoods and black neighborhoods and mixed neighborhoods.
Polish, Irish, Italian, Croatian, German, English, South Asian, Goral, Czech, Ukrainian, Swedish, Bulgarian, Puerto Rican, Palestinian, Korean, Cuban, Chinese, Indian, African and many other neighborhoods and communities too numerous to count.
If you look out the window, you won’t be able to tell that you’re passing through all of this. You’ll see tree-lined avenues and streets with the houses all boarded up.
You’ll see Dunkin’ Donuts, mom and pop stores, tire stores, playgrounds, high schools and empty lots. ]
There are so many stories that come from riding the trains every day. So many little facets of life that come bubbling up to the surface in that claustrophobic little world between our home life and our work life. But this one has been weighing on my mind for awhile.