Friday, May 30, 2014

Chicago Weekend

Earlier in the month I finished a Sock of Shame, but rather than take advantage of the long holiday weekend to do some catch up blogging, instead DH and I scampered off to Chicago via the Lake Shore Limited. It meant a lot of knitting time, especially when the engine broke down moments after departing NY Penn Station. Delays have an unfortunate way of becoming cumulative; our train ended up arriving five hours late. Objectively, it was no worse than a comparable airport delay, but I've noticed somehow on a train the entitled folk bitch more. All I have to say is I'm glad I had my knitting. Outbound it looked like this.

Camino de Santiago WIP, going

In Chicago we made our usual edible pilgrimage, searching out delicacies like Chicago-style deep dish pizza and Chicago hotdogs. In the old Swedish neighborhood, Andersonville, we were surprised to see the landmark water tower sitting in the parking lot of the Swedish American Museum, a casualty of the hard winter. (There are fundraising efforts to get it repaired and back on the roof.)

Swedish American Museum water tower

On the spur of the moment I decided to Bike the Drive with a nephew. Once a year mighty Lake Shore Drive is closed to cars and open to bicycles for its entire length, from Bryn Mawr to the Museum of Science & Industry – the opportunity seemed too good to miss. Neither of us had bikes, so we rented the Chicago version of bike share bikes, or Divvy bikes. Chicago bike share started last year and has been quite successful, yet it seemed strangely new to many participants. Everywhere we went I heard other riders exclaim, "Ooh! Divvies!" A couple of people asked if they were hard to ride. Uh, no. (Why would rental bikes be hard to ride?) It was fun.

Bike the Drive 2014

Indeed, I was so encouraged by the experience that I participated in my first Kickstarter project, a Po Campo bike bag designed for the open-sided baskets on bike share bikes. I can see making many more trips on bike share bikes in the future. As of this writing there are bike share programs in Austin, Boston, Boulder, Charlotte, Chattanooga, Chicago, Columbus, Denver, Des Moines, Fort Worth, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Madison, Minneapolis, Nashville, NYC, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Francisco, and Washington, DC in the U.S. and also in London, Melbourne, Montreal, Ottawa, Santiago, and Toronto. Biking is a great way to see a city.

Buckingham Fountain

All too soon it was time to return. DH and I boarded the train and I knit some more. I've really enjoyed knitting these modified Camino de Santiago socks by Nicki Miller. I almost finished the singleton, except for grafting the toe as I didn't bring a tapestry needle.

Camino de Santiago WIP, returning

And wonder of wonders, this time the Lake Shore Limited arrived on time. It was a sweet end to a sweet weekend.

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