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brown line

The town where I grew up now has a single Starbucks. One lonely ‘bucks located inside of a Target store. You have to get in your car and drive there, and hope for the best.

This in contrast to my current city, that has so many Starbucks, you’d be safe to say you could pass one every minute if you were walking at a brisk pace.

This is one of the things that both overwhelmed and delighted me about the city that I have called home for over two years now. Yes, there were certainly some adjustments that came with moving from Cleveland/NE Ohio to one of the world’s largest cities, to be sure. There were the people, the taxes (highest sales tax in the nation until just recently at a whopping 10.25%), the sky-high rental prices...

But there were all of the upsides too...the museums, the restaurants, the bars, the theaters...the sheer volume of choices to, well, choose from. Want Ethiopian food at 3:00 a.m.? I know a place for that. Want to find the funniest shows on earth? We have a laugh for that.

It took a while for me to “get it”. The public transportation system, the neighborhoods that run one into another, the impossibly great shops, yarn stores (7 and counting of my favorites), and the people. So many talented, energetic, fabulous people who have stories to tell and friendship to share. I wondered for a while if I would ever be able to feel even slightly at home here, despite the fact that I instantly loved it.

About 3 months after I arrived, I was leaving work for the day and headed up the stairs to the EL. I heard the train coming and picked up my pace, swiping my Chicago Card that I pulled out of my pocket without stopping at the turn-style, and jumped on the train, just as the doors closed behind me in a movie-style-esque entrance. I stood there tall and proud in my requisite Chicago uniform (oversized sunglasses, summer scarf knotted around my neck, laptop bag casually slung across my body), thinking that yes, I had finally become a City Girl. I felt a pride and sense of self that only one who has reached an elusive goal can feel. Goodbye small town Coffee. You’ve made it. You are a part of this place now.

That elation lasted approximately 15 seconds...until I realized that I had jumped onto the Green Line, not the Brown Line that would take me home. I had to wait three stops before I could change trains and get myself moving in the right direction.

At least there was a Starbucks when I got where I was going.

Reader Comments (3)

Ha ha! That sounds like something I would do!

Mar 17, 2011 at 9:02AM | Unregistered Commenter'Chelle

hahahha that's fabulous. i've only been into one yarn store. ever. i've made two scarves... and have began other unfinished projects, but one store in colorado, i think the fact i feel inadequate in the subject of yarn, knitting, crocheting, makes me feel a little unqualified to walk into another store (though honestly, i stumbled upon that one, never went out to find one). still love material though. ahhh cloth. love. good ole coffee is such a comfort to tide one over a few minutes in a time of distress.

Mar 18, 2011 at 12:07AM | Unregistered Commenterkat

Kat-Erin & I can help. Knitting is so relaxing!

Mar 18, 2011 at 6:21AM | Unregistered Commenterhcg

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