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The Chicago Transit System Is Much More Confusing Than New York City

R Scapinello. Getty Images.

I've really enjoyed living in the midwest so far. Granted, I've only been here about a week and a half. But everyone is very friendly and we already really like our neighbors. That all being said, commuting is difficult. New York City was very easy. Three major hubs: Penn Station are trains from New Jersey and Long Island. Grand Central is trains from Westchester, NY and Connecticut, and Port Authority was buses from New Jersey. Subways are everywhere and easy to navigate. Uptown = going up in numbered streets. Downtown = the street number is going down. Subways go all over and you shouldn't have to walk much. There are subway stations at all three of those major hubs.

Chicago doesn't have that. On Sunday night, I panic texted Eddie as google was recommending me to take a train to a bus to a subway to get into our temporary office. And for all the haters, I did look up my commute before picking a home. The commute from our house to the new office isn't bad. A train for about 35 mins and a 0.6 mile walk. Easy as pie. But we're in the current Chicago office they've had for a few years for the next couple weeks because All Business Pete is too busy sitting in a float on a lake to get all the permits needed in time to get the office finished. So here we are.

So Day 1 Eddie offered to pick me up at his stop and he'd drive me in and show me the ropes. It was a nice gesture so I took him up on it.

It was only Day 1 of the real commute but the Chicago train system was incomprehensible.

But it worked out and I made it to work in a timely manner thanks to Eddie.

But I hopped on The Mid Show and Chief gave me a simple way to get home. L train two blocks from the office. Take it a 15 minutes to a stop, couple minute walk to Ogilvie Station and train right home. Not too shabby! I was thinking Chief was smarter than Google for a minute!

Today I wanted to try to commute in solo and I was feeling very confident based on Chief's instructions.

But upon confirming with a friendly midwesterner, they informed me that there is no Uptown or Downtown in Chicago like there is in New York. If I wanted to get back to the Belmont stop like I wanted, I'd have to take a different line, the Purple Line or ride the entire loop which would add 20+ minutes to my commute. The Purple Line was right there, so let's go! 

Unfortunately, all four of my eyes deceived me. In my defense, the right side of that looks very purple.

I was completely lost.

Luckily, I had a 9:30am call with Big Cat and a few others and he helped point me in the right direction.

I got there. But 1 hour and 54 minutes is a tough look. Admittedly that would be cut down immensely had Chief given me good directions to get in and I had not mistaken pink for purple. 

Tomorrow is a new day. Minor setback for a major comeback.