Still Enjoying the Long Way Home

My commutes have been so lovely lately. Ever since I took the long way home for the Summer Games, I’ve continued taking the same relatively quiet route to and from work. Now I can’t believe that I never discovered this route for over two years.

The route is all calm two-lane streets with bike lanes. Both the car and bike traffic are much lighter and more considerate. Trees line the way, shading me from the hot sun. Kids wait on the corner for school buses. People walk their dogs.

Bonus: I pass right by one of the best cupcake shops in Chicago.

I feel like my commute is now more like a normal commute in a small or mid-sized city, instead of the hulking beast that is Chicago. The whole experience is totally worth the extra five minutes that my ride takes.

{I took these pictures today with my vintage Polaroid with expired film – that’s why they look funny}

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19 thoughts on “Still Enjoying the Long Way Home

  1. Jami says:

    Lovely photos!

  2. this post has inspired me to whip out the polaroid i bought for myself last November and use some of that overly-expensive film!!

  3. cycler says:

    Did you hear the story on NPR this weekend about the guy who shot the last roll of Kodachrome produced?

    I’m sure that there’s still lots of Kodachrome out there in the world, but Kodak asked the guy who took the “Afghan Girl” photo to shoot that roll.

    • Dottie's Gram Bev says:

      I took a copy of Afghan Girl’s picture and another of a soldier on a tank, sliced each one in strips vertically and made an altogether new picture out of them for an art projet for one of my art classes.

      I like the soft, fuzzy colors of your photos of the camera and cupcake and the bike against the cityscape backdrop. I have a camera just like that. I bought it at a yard sale or a junk shop. When I was a kid my best friend had one just like it.

      I really LOVE this blog!

    • Dave says:

      I have a roll of Kodachrome slide film in my office that needs developing. My dad shot almost entirely slide film when he was younger, and when he started showing me the ins and outs of his camera when I was junior-high-school-ish aged, we went out and bought slide film. Now there’s nowhere in town that can develop it and I have to ship it off somewhere, just haven’t gotten around to it. Bummer I didn’t develop it immediately when I had the chance, I wonder if it will still turn out :) Of course, I also have no idea if any of the photos will be any good.

      • Moopheus says:

        I’ve got four rolls of Kodachrome left from the half-brick I managed to get just before the end.

        Yes, you’ll have to send it to Dwayne’s. Your pictures are likely still good (I don’t know how long ago that was for you)–Kodachrome is pretty stable, because there are no dyes in the film. A while ago I had processed a roll of Tri-X (b&w) that had been sitting around for close to 30 years. Came out okay.

  4. maureen says:

    How lovely to find such a pleasant alternative route. And I like the photos, reminds me how polaroids taken in my youth now look! TFS!

  5. cb says:

    glad you are enjoying your commute! i have also started taking a new way adds a bit but you get tried of taking the same route each day…gotta mix it!

    love the pictures! we used expired film the other day and the pictures came out great! a really nice grainy look :)

    have a great day!


  6. Amy says:

    Mmmm… cupcakes… maybe I’ll have some for dinner tonight! :)

  7. Traci says:

    Now that sounds like a commute that would be worth way more than 5 minutes longer to me :) Every time I think I’ve found another route, I’ll realize that it deadends at some point, or I’ll run into a killer hill that takes all my energy – and I need all the energy I can get in this heat – haha! What I wouldn’t give right now for the flat terrain of Chicago!

  8. Sheena says:

    Your photos look so lovely! Taking the long way home can be totally worth it, especially if it eases your peace of mind while doing so.

  9. Dave says:

    One thing I like about Portland is most of it is on a very strict grid street-pattern, so there are a lot of ways you can go to get form one place to another. It’s nice, because you can just meander and see streets you haven’t gone down before, find parks you didn’t know were there, and still be going generally in the direction you need to go. If you hit a dead end, it’s usually no more than a block or two to go around, and we also have short blocks :) The only things you really have to plan to go around are a couple of large parks and cemeteries.

    Of course, some routes end up being more convenient than others, particularly at certain street crossings or whatever, but eventually you learn which ones and steer towards those when you need to.

    I like varying my route, and keep about 3 general routes from work to home that I can pick and choose depending on the day.

    • Traci says:

      OK, now I have major street envy :) I have basically one viable route to get to work if I want to avoid a million hills (this one still has at least 4 decent hills) or high-traffic/high-speed roads. There’s one other route that is low traffic and few hills, however, rather than adding 5-10 minutes to my commute, adds almost 2.5 miles! Ugh, at the speed I ride (especially when it’s 100 degrees), that would take me another 40 minutes :) I’d love to have more variety – I guess I need to just move to either Chicago or Portland – haha.

  10. These photos are just stunning! I’m not sure I’ve ever read better reasons for taking the long way home.

  11. Scott says:

    What is your new route? I like the side streets too even if it makes the ride a little longer.

  12. Aaron Fournier says:

    I love the “funny” look the vintage Polaroid camera with expired film gave these photos :)

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