I’ll be working on campus during the summer—it’s official! I’m pretty glad I have a job, but now it’s time to tackle some of the logistical problems. You see, I live in “Chicago”, which is not to say that I live in Chicago. You see, with quotation marks, “Chicago” refers the sprawling suburban Chicagoland area, and to write it otherwise irks “real” Chicagoans (those living within city limits) to no end. Believe me, I know from experience. Anyway, I, specifically, live in the northern suburbs, and though I told that one kid from Texas that I was from Chicago, I actually live a good hour away. I know a lot of other students who are working on campus as well, so allow me to divulge some information about transportation and what there is to do on campus (and in the ‘burbs!) during the summer months.
Though you could always commute to the city every day (and suffer through the notorious Chicago traffic), I recommend taking public transportation to save money and our planet. I plan to take the Metra every morning to Union Station. The Metra will also take you to the Ogilvie Transportation Center, depending on which suburb you depart from. To find out how to take the Metra from “Chicago” to Chicago, use their trip planner.
Now that you’re downtown, how do you get to the South Side? There are actually quite a few options. If you’re arriving and departing during peak commuting hours, you can take:
- #192 University of Chicago Hospitals Express: This bus takes you from the Goldblatt Pavilion at the University of Chicago Hospitals to Union Station and the Ogilvie Transportation Center. It runs south from Ogilvie from 6:30-9:00 AM southbound from then back toward the city from 3:45 to 7:00 PM To find out more, download the schedule.
- #X28 CTA Stony Island Express: This bus takes you from the southside to downtown and back. It runs from 63rd and Stony Island to Union Station from 5:52 am to 6:42 pm, Mondays to Fridays. Download the schedule here.
- #6 Jackson Park Express: This will take you from Stony Island down to Michigan Avenue, if you just want to do some shopping, or bike along the lakefront, or… anything, really, even on weekends. It’s great. Download the schedule here.
Now that you've made it back to campus, there are plenty of things to do:
- Avoid the Chicago summer humidity and work out in the nicely air-conditioned Ratner Athletic Center! No excuses--you’re already on campus!
- Print out one of my blog posts and find me on campus. I’ll be signing autographs. (Kidding. Mostly.)
- Chicago’s 64th Annual 57th Street Art Fair: June 4-5, Saturday 11-6 and Sunday 10-5. We’re still in school at this point (unfortunately), but hopefully we’ll be well into summer by that time. Support our local businesses, and check it out!
- Randolph Street Market Festival—-Okay, this isn't actually on campus, but it's still a great event. Vintage art and fashion, food, drinks and artsy things all around! What’s not to love? Click here for more information. And actually, since we're on the subject, going to any of the city’s open markets and festivals (Maxwell Street Market, Taste of Chicago, Pride Parade…to name a few) is a great idea.
- Summer Dance--Also not on campus, but SO much fun. Shake your groove thing to a variety of dance styles all summer long. It's right downtown near Millennium Park, and even offers dance lessons! Check it out!