Category: City life

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Cold weather

I think it’s every Chicagoan’s duty, when he has friends out on vacation in warm places, to bitch about all the cold weather back home — even if it’s not actually cold. It makes the vacation feel all that much better.

CTA driver screams, then silence

So, this just happened: my Blue Line train may have been about to derail or be hit by an oncoming train. Not the way I was hoping to get home, frankly. I’m riding on the train from O’Hare. It’s a moderately full train since the station was rather...

Ice kicking season didn’t come

To hasten the end of winter, I like to go down the lake and kick ice. Every winter I’ve been here in Chicago has been brutal. Weeks and weeks of unending ice and grey sludge in the streets. Temperatures so low they lock up all the moisture in...

The awkwardness of shouting in stores

Will shopkeepers stop yelling at me when I walk in? As soon as I’ve got through the door, I get a shouted “Hi!” Little is more predictably discomfiting. You know what I’m talking about: you come in off the street, brush the snow off your jacket, blink under the lights,...

Not thirty yet

So I’m sitting at the Caribou Coffee, here to do some writing and thinking. There’s an incredibly bad guitar singer here with an amp — which never happens. I’m trying to work, but the old man is cranking out bad renditions of the Beatles and the Monkees. (Come...

Happy Greek again!

Just thought I would inform everyone that The Happy Greek, Columbus’ 2nd-best hummus provider, has again taken the prize for slowest possible hummus sale.  A phone call to that jocular Mediterranean to order the famous food yielded no clue that the order was going to take a record...

Take the hummus challenge

As you may know, I recently had a few people around for a party and decided it would be a good idea to settle the question: who makes the best hummus in Columbus?  Over twenty people voted and I tabulated the results.  There’s something for everyone.  Go to...

…and who NOT to vote for!

Every year, it falls to me to grouse and complain about the abuse of the public trust practiced by certain local candidates who seem to think they own the whole damn road.  I’m not talking about the driving, I’m talking about their signs in the public right-of-way. This...

Cold urine update

Cold update: It is now 13 degrees. You people continue to scarf up like it’s the killer London great smog of 1952. Have you no shame? Urine update: The sign has been removed, but oddly, the pen is still there. I am so close to starting a community...

Processes of elimination

It’s, er, 9 degrees F out right now. And let me tell you — I expected to put up with a lot of crap when I moved downtown, OK? — but I ain’t never seen so much frozen urine in all my life. And unfortunately, most of it...

What’s wrong with people? II

A word of caution about the Happy Greek. A couple months ago, I got home late on a Sunday night and wanted to buy hummus. Unfortunately, I got to the restaurant about half an hour late, and even though they still had customers in there, the mean woman...

Recent events and COTA observations

In case you’ve been wondering where I’ve been over the last several months, I’m still here.  Moving downtown has had the effect of joining the witness protection program.  Add to that the fact that I now have a new Rival brand Crock-Pot Slow Cooker and I couldn’t be...

City gets cleaner

I just witnessed Columbus City Council pass ordinance 1095-2004, which bans smoking in all public places. Businesses permitting violations of the law are subject to a $150 fine per offense. It takes effect in 90 days. I went with Marc, which was quite a thrill, since he seems to...

COTA fallout

I just read in the Dispatch that COTA has chosen not to go to the November ballot for more money. Ron Barnes is quoted as saying, “Let’s become efficient before we even talk about the levy.” This sounds good, and I’ve already been saying that if I had...

COTA and self-aggrandizement

Sometimes complaining isn’t only fun, it actually could get a little attention. I read a column by a man who had been on a COTA citizens’ advisory committee, who was disillusioned by the closing of the committee, and also by his view of COTA’s apparent perception of itself...