The Brown Line

Around this time last year, I pieced together this  video montage from the Brown Line in Chicago. It was a percolating inside me for quite some time. The Brown is a loop-to-Northwest-side Chicago L line.

I overlaid it with music from one of my favorite artists, Van Morrison. I especially love the two descriptive lyrics. The first:

And I shall drive my chariot
Down your streets and cry
Hey, it’s me, I’m dynamite
And I don’t know why!

There really is a chariot-like quality to riding the L through the original urban canyonlands of Chicago. It’s a quasi-omniscient feel as you look into people’s lives on the second story, and peer down on the bustling streets—membership in an eclectic and transiently transcendent enclave.

We’re dynamite, but we don’t know why. I experience this sensation whenever I ride; let the Freudian analysis begin.

Of course it’s been a gray and rainy period here in Chicago, so this video also captures our current mood. (Sadly, we’ve got more of the same coming!)

Ergo, the second apropos lyric:

We shall walk and talk
In gardens all misty and wet with rain

(The Chicago motto being, urbs in horto or “City in a Garden”.)

I’m of a mind to do more such videos, possibly under the motif of “exegeting the L”; viz., providing some general commentary into what makes each L line special and some highlights along the route; set to music of course!

I’m thinking about the Green Line or the Red Line next. (Let’s rep the Southside, shall we? Heaven knows, Ferris Bueller didn’t even know it existed!)

Is this something you’d enjoy? Any recommendations? Any gems from along these next two routes or others that you’d like me to mention?

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