Friday, July 29, 2011

I Quit!

I did it. Today, I quit my job! Well, I gave notice at least. While I’ve always wanted to storm out in a fury of fire and brimstone, I figured I should be professional and courteous so as to not burn any bridges. I don’t actually leave for a month, but I feel like a great weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I gave a good month of notice because I like my boss. I respect him and understand that it will be extremely difficult to find someone as talented as me. And by talented, I mean someone who can simultaneously look as though they are working when in fact they are blogging, checking facebook and watching a Netflix movie on their phone. That only happened once or twice. I've always liked my jobs enough to quit in the standard two-week fashion. But how fun would it be to quit in an awesomely huge, fantastical, darmatic way ?(like the girl that quit on a dry erase board, which ended up being a hoax anyway but was still pretty clever)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Bikes and Cars

Photo via Steve Vance
 Today, Chicago celebrated its first protected bike lane with a ribbon cutting ceremony. As a bike and transit commuter, I applaud the City of Chicago and CDOT for implementing a safe route for bikers. More protected bike lanes are scheduled for construction and I couldn’t be happier. Many drivers on the otherhand, are pissed. Not just annoyed, but willing to kill you with their cars and probably would if there was no one around pissed (just read the comments section of this article).

I’ve dealt with these hate-crazed drivers all too often while on my bike. Yes, I will admit, sometimes their honks and four-letter words were justified as I ran a stop or two. But for the most part, I am a law-abiding cyclist like so many others in the City. It upsets me that so much anger is directed towards bikers as a whole, when it is the occasional cyclist who is cutting through traffic and running lights. With this much anger directed as bikers in a town that was named the 10th best biking city in America by Bicycling Magazine, I am curious as to how my bike commute will be as I prepare to move to the land of Carmageddon.  It may be more hostile, dangerous or dare I say, pleasant? Only time will tell, but I know one thing, I will never stop riding.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sushi and Poorly Planned Business Parks

Today was a big day here at the corporate business park. Snooty Snacks had SUSHI*!!

To put this into perspective, I work in an office building surrounded by other office buildings and lots of parking lots. The office is accessible by train, but can by no means be considered a TOD. For the carless, food options are limited. There are approximately two places to choose from to grab lunch, not including the hotel restaurant (I’d rather eat sand than pay for what they sell for $15 a plate). Both places are reasonably priced delis with salad bars. So when the one place we have deemed “Snooty Snacks” (a name based on the shiny silver building in which it’s housed) has something exotic as sushi, it’s a big deal.

Here is a clearly amateur sketch of the office building nightmare.
(Let’s hope my drawing skills improve in the next two years as my sketch reminds me of the one of a leprechan)

The majority of my coworkers live in the suburbs. They have the option to drive to the closest strip mall for a variety of food such as Subway, McDonalds or even Jason’s Deli. They look confused and dumbfounded when the few carless “city people” complain of the lack of food choices. “Well, isn’t there a deli somewhere?” they ask. Yes, we answer, but the same deli food day in and day out can become monotonous and downright disgusting at times.

These suburb people also don’t understand why we carless city people complain about the location of the office. “But it’s right next to the train,” they say. And they would be right. However, they also need to ask for directions if they ever choose to go to the train stop, which requires cutting through two parking lots, a roundabout and housewives driving SUVs furiously through the maze of buildings to pickup their kids from daycare.

It is these people, these car-centric suburb people, who I am sure planned this horrible, terrible excuse for a corporate business park. Just to get to Snooty Snacks, one must go through the guts of our building and out the loading dock then cut through two more parking lots. So why do I want to be a planner? So maybe one day I can consult some car-centric suburb developer to have a pedestrian-friendly site plan, and to not have my most exciting event of the day be Snooty Snacks Sushi.

*I had spicy tuna and a salmon/avocado roll and they were simply delightful!