Saturday, April 25, 2009

All Board: Next Stop, Vogue Fabrics

I've often talked about how I hop onto the train to go to Vogue Fabrics. My stop is super-close: a block away. If I time it right, I can get up to the platform in five minutes from the time I lock my door. Really. Then I board the train. I barely sit down in a seat before I get off on the next stop: Main Street, that's a half a block from Vogue Fabrics. It couldn't be more convenient. Really.

It's funny because when I originally moved into my current home I wasn't a sewing fanatic so I really didn't visit Vogue Fabrics. In fact, I'm not sure what got my rear end in gear to start going there (which I've visited as a kid with my mom). Perhaps it was the store flyer with the all the descriptions of the free sewing demos? That must have been it, because before I knew it, I was boarding the 6:52 p.m. northbound for the 7 p.m. demonstration in the sewing machine department. That has been at least 100 fabric acquisitions ago (according to my calculations, approximately 5 years ago). When I moved into my neighborhood, I was psyched about the possibility of getting downtown in 20 minutes, now I'm more jazzed about the chance to be in Evanston in mere minutes.

I try not to take my easy access for granted. There are few places in the U.S. that have the network of commuter rail lines that the metro Chicago area does (New York has a comparable set-up). In fact, you can take commuter trains (not Amtrak) from the heart of the Windy City to Wisconsin and Indiana. Absolutely amazing. Even better, on the weekends you can buy a $5 unlimited weekend pass (good for all Metra lines, except the South Shore) that you can use to your aorta's content all day Saturday and Sunday.

Another cool thing is that the El tracks runs parralel to the Metra rail lines. They're so close that sometimes I wave to passengers in the El cars when I'm on Metra. So far no one has waved back. I'm ever hopeful, however. I often think about how few places in the country even have two completely separate train lines, one diesel (Metra), the other electric (the El) running next to each other. Little kids on the trains with their parents get a kick out of this and smush their little noses on the windows, watching the other train go by.

So, often I'm like those children, waving to the train engineer, trying to get him to toot his horn (he usually does). There's one key difference. I'm carrying bags of fabric from Vogue, they're not. Smart kids!

How easy is for you to visit your local fabric shops on a train or a bus?


Primatoide futile said...

Mmmm... Very much so, and that is actually the only way I go to fabric shops (it has the added advantage of limiting my buying capacity by my carrying capacity). But:
1/ I live in Europe, where most countries do have that kind of transportation network (and parking places are often a rarer convenience).
2/ I live in a large city...
I really love being able to do this, and it is also a cheap (and clean) way of transportation that does not require the expense of having a car, making it available to all, no matter their ressources.

Dorothy said...

Stumbled across your blog and was greeted with a blast from the past. Fifteen years ago I was a graduate student at that university they have there in Evanston and spent quite a bit of my time (and more money than I could afford) at Vogue.
Currently I'm in Newark NJ and do most of my fabric shopping in NYC and of course do it by train. Newark is an untapped transit gem - 20 min from midtown by NJTransit or 22 min from World Trade Center by PATH.

Lindsay T said...

Well you know my answer to your question: It's very easy to hop a train to fabric shop. In fact, I do it all the time!