Monday, February 14, 2011

On Michigan City, IN

Periodically, I take the south shore train line and meet my parents for the afternoon in Michigan City, IN. This is for no other reason than it's locale. It sits near the end of the train line and about half way between their home and mine. It is a simple trip and the result can be some extra time with one another. Additionally, I'm just a fan of some train time. Mary and I, oddly enough, were both on trains (in different states) at the same time this weekend and both seemed to exit with poetic ideas about what it means to spend time on rail. It is so different for me than say, public transportation or even flying. For some reason, I almost always find clarity on certain issues while chugging along and it makes me wonder why is that time different than others?

The thing about Michigan city is that it is not charming. There is a huge nuclear power plant that shows one of the largest smoke stacks you've ever seen, sitting directly behind prime retail outlets. I'm not going to lie, the outlets are appealing in a certain sense, but they are also pretty gross. Downtown Michigan City just seems like a carcass of an era past... similar to Gary, IN and other cities along Lake Michigan that used to house Industry and now just house old buildings.

It was a bit warmer on Saturday when we met and just for kicks we drove over to the lake to see the lighthouse. The lake looked like another planet, with piles of dirt and ice that were actually sitting atop the lake itself. I took a walk out, thinking I could climb on them, but quickly realized I was actually past shore and decided not to risk it. My mother sat in the car while my father stood by the edge.

The sun set during my ride home and I did some more thinking.

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