I have a rather nice list for 2009...

Blackhawks games attended by K of C in 2009:

1/4 vs. Flames BLACKHAWKS WIN
10/14 vs. Oilers BLACKHAWKS WIN
10/26 vs. Wild BLACKHAWKS WIN
10/30 vs. Canadiens BLACKHAWKS WIN
11/9 vs. Kings BLACKHAWKS WIN
11/11 vs. Avalanche BLACKHAWKS WIN
11/13 vs. Maple Leafs BLACKHAWKS WIN
12/1 vs. Blue Jackets BLACKHAWKS WIN
12/5 @ Penguins BLACKHAWKS WIN
12/9 vs. Rangers BLACKHAWKS WIN
12/13 vs. Lightning BLACKHAWKS WIN
12/16 vs. Blues BLACKHAWKS WIN
12/18 vs. Bruins BLACKHAWKS WIN
12/31 vs. Devils BLACKHAWKS WIN

what are the odds? NO, DON'T TRY calculating, I have a friend who does this every time I see another winner and I'm not sure this can be mathematically determined (well, based on a 50-50 chance it can). obviously, I'm a good luck charm, which makes it all the sadder that ticket prices (on Ticket Exchange) skyrocketed late December and I'm effectively priced out of going to games in 2010 (though I do have tickets to a few).

anyway...HAPPY NEW YEAR!


I don't know about you, but I know I'm going to remember where I was when...THIS happened:

yes! Team Canada was a trending topic on Twitter! usually this is reserved for celebrities I don't care about, obvious stuff like Christmas, and illiterate and/or misogynist nonsense (#URaHoeIf and the like), but today, it was up there. (Mary Poppins is because it was showing on BBC at the time and people were twittering about it) and I helped...

and now, the Team Canada announcements, told like so much else here, through screenshots:

I tried finding the official CBC live announcement, but didn't have the right thing installed to actually watch it. all I could see were some very busy chat rooms:

the percentage of "Yes" votes actually dropped in the time I had this on. someone provided a link to a different feed of the coverage:

I'd missed the goalie annoucements, and they took a while with interviews and such before getting to defence (uh-oh, I'm using Canadian spelling now)

Keith makes it, of course!

and so does Seabrook! everyone loves the chemistry of those two

and there's your captain! he needs a photo that makes him look less like someone you see boarding a Greyhound bus and really, really hoping doesn't sit next to you...

and Toews! (they were showing childhood photos of players but I wasn't fast enough to grab most)

the feed kept going, so I left on this sports show. if you'd told me even a year ago that I'd be listening to Canadian sports radio...

there's the roster at NHL.com. wish I'd been fast enough to capture what a contributor on Pensblog found (cut off after the relevant part):

and then I looked at more on NHL.com. if I was any good at funny captions I'd have one for the pic below, because I love their expressions

there's the Blackhawks from the Hawks website. and congratulations to Hossa and Kopecky for the Slovakian team!

and to the Bruins' Bergeron, who I hadn't mentioned yet. his selection was enough of a surprise to some to get its own story on NHL.com

I haven't waded through all the comments in my usual online hockey reads, but I know From the Rink, Pension Plan Puppets, and Puck Daddy all had active discussions, if you can endure the Canadians out there who are showing off so much, they're drafting their imaginary B teams with the Canadian players who didn't make it...

this post has too much sugar & not enough Team Canada

so it's less than 10 hours until Team Canada is announced, and I'm not gonna bet on whether both Keith and Seabrook will make the team. but I'll bet dollars to donuts that of everyone reading this blog, I'm the only one who had dinner last night at a (soon-to-be-closing, alas. or relocating) 24-hour diner, in a booth where the waitress (on her last day today) told us a (her words) crack whore had given birth, at 6 a.m., one morning. (also I'll bet on "dollars to donuts" and "crack whore" not being used in the same sentence before.)

um, anyway, I listened to the Blackhawks @ Stars game on WGN radio on the way home, and 7 goals had been scored by the time I got to my computer and found the game online, including two quick Stars goals at the top of the 2nd while the bus went the last couple blocks to my place. Hawks lose 5-4, and are 0-2 with the Stars this season. but at least they got TWO power play goals in one game, and Fraser got his first goal of the season (first scored since April 1).

note: one of the WGN guys said in the post-game discussion of how fans feel about Hawks being on Olympic teams, are they "concerned this could take away the possibility that the Hawks could hoist the Cup for the first time in 61 years." ouch! yes, Hawks fans have "61" in their heads but at least the non-winning streak hasn't been THAT long...

remember the Chicago Tribune Toews piece I linked to a few posts ago? well, seeing it on paper was even better--he was the cover of the Sunday section (which used to be the glossy-covered weekly magazine in the Trib. decline of newspapers, etc. etc.). here's what fit on my scanner...

remember the Martin Brodeur recipe page I posted last week? well, I actually made the "traditional fudge from Quebec," but either the recipe's not quite right or (more likely) I messed up the ice-water step because I've never made candy before. so it ended up not as fudge but a zillion-calorie pan of caramel goo. which is unbelievably good over vanilla ice cream. somehow this counts as preparing myself for the New Year's Eve Devils @ Hawks game I'll be attending...

remember the PNC Park, Stanley Cup, etc. in gingerbread form I posted from my Pittsburgh trip? (yeah, still haven't posted my December game recaps/photos...) I expanded it into this this photoblog that also includes gingerbread McDonald's, Titanic, trolleys, Obama (and stayed up so late working on it I didn't post at all here Monday). 

if all the sappy holiday-time stuff is past...well, it's time for some Canadian-on-Canadian violence again! this Canucks @ Flames game 12/27 has the highest-rated-on-hockeyfights.com fights of any of the post-Christmas games. this fight went on for a full minute, and Tanner Glass received a game misconduct for not having his jersey tied down.

I'll just have to link to it because when I embedded it in this post, a version showed up that plays automatically--arrgh, never happened with anything I've posted from there before. a still from Glass vs. Brandon Prust:

re: Team Canada again. you might enjoy Fallen Leafs' "My Team Canada of Man-Crushes". I know I did.

on Twitter.

THIS JUST HAPPENED. #getJackEdwardsonTwitter worked!

and now THIS is happening:

oh boy. btw, I got on Twitter for real a couple months ago. I don't use it much, because I have no portable device to access the Internet with. maybe I can send tweets from my very low-tech (pay as you go, no camera) cell phone, but if I can't read them too, why bother? so I only post a few times a day, from home.

I've reached a decent balance between the number of followers/people I'm following, but I haven't figured out how to get 1) anyone to retweet anything I post (no matter how useful I think it is) 2) anyone to respond to me after I directly address THEM in a tweet. (note: these gripes apply to my hockey followers, not so much the people I know in real life.) Twitter is just the latest place on the Internet I fail at...***sighs histrionically***

WJHC day one...that was something.

(note: blog post title may incorrectly imply I'll be reporting on other days of WJHC. I might, but I couldn't find the games online today...) I'd never watched any junior hockey until yesterday, when the 2010 World Junior Hockey Championship kicked off on Boxing Day, in Saskatchewan.

I caught Canada vs Latvia in the second period. actually, I had to go out for a few brief errands within a couple blocks of my place...and when I got back, it'd gone from 5-0 to 8-0 Canada. then quickly to 11-0 Canada, then right as I was posting "11-0 Canada" somewhere, they scored goal #12.

you probably know it turned out 16-0...shots on goal 66-10.

Latvia's goalie a few seconds from the end of the game...

the Canadians just kept clapping and clapping...yeah, we GET it, you're good at hockey. this topped last year's 15-0 blowout. and Sweden beat the Czech Republic yesterday 10-1.

I understand that goal differential helps determine playoff standings (Puck Daddy had a piece today on blowout games at the WJHC), so it's not like a team would be ahead 5-0 then barely do anything the rest of the game, but this was still depressing to watch...don't Canadian parents teach "nobody likes a showoff"? oh well, congratulations on whatever records this set.

afterwards I saw a little of Russia defeating Austria 6-2.

and then, when I switched over to HNIC, I saw a Boxing Day sale commercial for the first time!

and I saw a Peter Puck spot (promoting the Winter Classic) for the first time (though I knew of Peter Puck, of course)! well, here's a disturbing image to leave you on...

a shiny new condo for the Captain, a little more Christmas, etc.

oh hey there! I was inside nearly all day because it's lousy weather and I have a cold and because of that I couldn't travel and missed Christmas entirely (no family, no gifts, need I elaborate?) and I've mostly been working on completely redoing my other blog's blogroll, which means I've been skimming through blogs about pancake restaurants in suburban Chicago, and economic development in Youngstown, Ohio, and high-speed rail in Europe...whee! (I'm not being sarcastic.)  but of course my mind is on hockey, too...

the Sunday Chicago Tribune has a story on Jonathan Toews' new condo in the Chicago Loop (saw this item on Kukla's blog this morning). I include it because, well, there's just nothing my guy friends like more than reading articles about a man who's much younger than them, handsome, making more money than they could dream of, extremely talented and admired...who now has a fabulous apartment in possibly the most luxurious part of Chicago. right?

well...at least I might have some readers who'll take note of this sentence in this piece: "On days off, I sort of sit in the steam shower and get a sweat going, just to wake up in the morning."

the condo has a great kitchen, of course, but it says Toews doesn't cook, except: "...if guests were hungry? 'I've made my share of omelets,' he says, with an impish wink."
(PLEASE NOTE: actual article might not contain the phrase "with an impish wink.")

in very different news, and I meant to post it a few days ago because it didn't get much publicity locally, I don't think: CBS-2 Chicago had a story on how Stan Mikita and his wife Jill were recently victims of identity theft and had $100,000 taken from their account. (covered by the bank)

I've been stumbling across new sites to add to the blogroll, and sometimes I think to mention them. I'm not into the hockey card (or jerseys, or other collectibles) collecting aspect of hockey fandom (just like I like trains, but avoid getting too interested in model trains) though I definitely think sports cards, etc. can be pretty cool. I'd already blogrolled Puck Junk, and then I just added Shoebox Legends, a blog that covers hockey and baseball cards and has a Boston focus, nice. then there's Cardboard Gods, a site I'm amazed I hadn't seen before. it's hard to explain...except to say it goes way, way beyond just talking about sports cards and the players on them.

if I didn't scare you off with the mention of my other blog, I'll put in a plug (a little late now) for the Christmas piece I finally wrote there, which rambles a bit to defend cheesy music and fruitcake and so on, and has lovely vintage cookbook covers too. but, a warning: on City of Destiny, I don't swear, I rarely use innuendo, and I properly capitalize sentences (bizarre, I know!)

Merry Christmas from K of C & friends

uh, I don't know what this is either, but I wanted to put my first bobblehead to decorative use (and one of my pink trees--yes, I have more than one--from Borders). dammit, Kaner!

Happy Holidays from me! I'd say a mushy thanks to my readers but I did that on Thanksgiving and will write something like that for New Year's too. there's a lot of fun holiday-related stuff on the sports blogs I read, but I'll just highlight the folks who took the time to write hockey-themed versions of "A Visit from St. Nicholas" (a.k.a. "The Night Before Christmas"--your pedantic blogger here gives bonus points for those who riffed on the proper title):

HOCKEENIGHT Gets a Visit From St. Nick
this one's my favorite, because, well, it's Blackhawks, so I feel closest to it (and get all the jokes)
Pension Plan Puppets has A Visit from Saint Burke
'Twas the Night Before Christmas from a reader at The Pensblog
and 'Twas the Night Before Christmas at Hockey Blog in Canada, where the focus is on the World Junior Championships, which start on Boxing Day (or as it's known to Americans, "wait, why do they call it Boxing Day again?")

did I miss any? well, this post on Puck Daddy links to Avalanche and Predators versions too, plus a reader contributes a poem in the first comment. I don't think I saw a Bruins version, and I don't feel I know the team well enough yet to write one (though I've already rhymed "style and class" with "put a guy through the glass"...).

Stone vs. Stoner: name-wise, the NHL FOTY

I know, I know, another fight? but it involves the Minnesota Wild, and it doesn't get more Christmas-y than the Wild's uniforms, does it? (too bad they have to wear them all the time.) and this is hardly more violent than trying to visit the mall today, isn't it?

NHL players only get a few days off around Christmas...they were working right up through Dec. 23, doing impressive things: the Hawks' Antti Niemi got his 4th shutout of the season, and the Coyotes' Ilya Bryzgalov got his 5th to lead the league. Malkin got a hat trick for the Penguins' 8-2 win over the Senators. Bruins scored 3 goals in 68 seconds (damn, wish I'd seen that, but I was out watching the Hawks game with people) and eventually beat Atlanta 6-4. and of course, there were fights. I had to post this because it's Ryan Stone (Oilers) vs. Clayton Stoner (Wild), and it's worth posting for those names alone. (the two also fought in the AHL.) to borrow a joke from the hockeyfights.com comments, the win, and a big bag of Cheetos, goes to Stoner:

30 years ago today...

I didn't realize it was the anniversary of one of the NHL's most notorious episodes till I saw this posted on a couple other blogs. I know it's the season of peace on earth, goodwill to all and whatnot, but I'd be remiss in not posting this bit of Bruins history. I'll try to go a few posts without any fights...more recipes, perhaps?

from The New York Times piece "30 Years Later, Memories of Garden's Shoe Brawl," subtitled Over the Glass and Into Hockey Lore:  "Thirty years ago, on Dec. 23, 1979, Bruins defenseman Mike Milbury whacked John Kaptain, a Rangers fan from New Jersey, with a shoe during a bizarre altercation in which all but one Bruins player went over the glass and into the stands at Madison Square Garden. The incident, after a 4-3 Bruins victory, resulted in three players being suspended, lawsuits and the installation of higher glass in the arena." (I first saw this linked at Greatest Hockey Legends, where a commenter quipped [because the article refers to the "late" fan] "I can't believe Milbury only got suspended 6 games for killing that guy.")

this is the five and a half-minute version, but you can find shorter clips...plus related videos of other hockey line brawls and incidents with fans, if you'd like an alternative to all the sentimental holiday viewing:

the Times also notes, "Bruins fans, in particular, still relish the incident."

Chi-Town Shooters vs. linesmen: uh, wow.

so here's an odd item found at Avalanche blog Jerseys and Hockey Love, who got the story from HockeyRefs.com. I haven't seen this anywhere else yet. HockeyRefs.com describes what happens in this Chi-Town Shooters @ Evansville IceMen game:  
"At the end of the second period, Chi-Town defensemen Clay Lewis received a match penalty for slashing, a match penalty for spearing and a game misconduct for Category I Abuse of an Official for an on-ice incident where Lewis threw off his gloves specifically to fight a linesmen...pulled the linesmen's jersey over his helmet, and threw off his helmet before an IceMen player intervened."

the gloves are dropped around 0:50 here:

more about it: "...unofficial reports indicate that Lewis was playing his first game with the Chi-Town Shooters...This is the second serious on-ice incident involving abuse of an official this season for the All American Hockey League. Earlier this season Chi-Town Shooters forward Krystjan Jefkins was suspended for 20 games for a similar Category I offense, which involved Jenkins throwing five punches at a linesmen."

wow, TWO incidents with the same team? about all I know of the Chi-Town Shooters is that they're actually in Dyer, Indiana, closer to Gary, IN than to Chicago. and their website says they're a "Proud Affiliate of the Dayton Gems" (a level or two below the Toledo Walleye, I'm guessing!) and I guess they have anger management issues. the sites who posted this are clearly disapproving, but when I told a hockey fan friend (who hadn't seen the video) he laughed and said "that's awesome" more than once. I have that horrified/amused reaction that I have to a lot of unusual sports incidents. but I do think that although on-ice officials should expect to be heckled, and know they run the risk of a player accidentally knocking into them, it's reasonable to expect to not be punched at your job (it's reasonable to expect this of most jobs).

I'll let you know if there's any more mayhem from this team...

cooking with Marty

believe or not, I had a Martin Brodeur post planned for today, having nothing to do with his goaltending accomplishments. this tweet by loser_domi brought me to the Mom's Recipes section on Brodeur's website, and it seemed holiday-ish, so why not? then, there was some excitement tonight (see a bunch more relevant shots at the bottom of the post). so...it's even more timely, right?

anyway, here we are on the recipe page...

huh, I'll give that the benefit of the doubt (it's supposed to be Mom talking?) and assume it means "Hey, let's go have fun in the kitchen," not "Back in the kitchen, woman." the English on this page isn't 100% accurate, but the recipes are perfectly understandable. The recipe for "Traditional fudge from Quebec Canada" ends with "The result should be sweet and delicious." which is how EVERY RECIPE should end.

the one that cracks me up is a simple recipe, made of only Cool Whip, Jello, and two kinds of canned fruit. now, to my readers not familiar with the American Midwest, here we would call that more of a "salad" than a dessert. salad, in the Midwest/Heartland/you know, where true Americans live, often means something gelatin and/or mayonnaise-based. (it can be even be a savory dish made with gelatin or a sweet dish made with mayonnaise--try not to think about it.) sure, there are vegetable salads here, but those will be called "green salad" (if green). anyway, the reason I like this recipe? again, it's Cool Whip, Jello, and canned fruit, but the recipe name is "Mousse aux fraises." French makes anything sound elegant...

yes, that's French, not French Canadian, but I didn't think anyone would mind. another from my vast collection of old recipe booklets (Culinary Arts Institute, Chicago, 1965 print of 1954 booklet)

as for Brodeur breaking the all-time NHL shutout record tonight...I was all excited watching the Bruins win their first in 5 games with a 2-0 shutout over the Senators, and remembered just in time to try to find a feed again of the Devils at Penguins game. I'd had one early and it vanished. with 4 minutes left in the game, Devils were up 4-0, and I got ready to take lousy screenshots of history!

Happy Holidays, indeed. the Pens fans saw their team shut out at home in the last regular season appearance of the Devils in Mellon Arena. the hometown crowd sullenly applauded the accomplishment...


congratulations! and even though baking cookies is more my style, I could be convinced to try to make that fudge for the Blackhawks @ Red Wings game-watching get-together this week...

"a great roll model" UPDATE: Fisher-Underwood engagement

so, a singer I don't care about got engaged to a hockey player I know nothing about who plays for a team I root against. NEWS! eh...I didn't want to waste a separate post on it, nor does it fit into other pieces I'm working on, but it's an excuse to repost this piece (also posted on Tumblr, back when I was there with maybe 3 people reading my stuff. it's more than that now, right?) this was probably all over Twitter, but I was away from the computer then, so I learned it from Puck Daddy when I got home. below, originally posted 11/18:

well, I’ve avoided this “story,” but this item cracked me up. as well as the comments (posted to People’s Facebook page, all these are from women):

I am glad that there are still some people in this world that have good moral! Way to go Carrie!
Go Carrie! I am not a fan of country music, but I am a fan of you! What a classy lady!
From the very beginning, we have recognized that you are the role model for our children and grandchildren. How special you are!!!
You go girl! Love to see someone who has respect for herself and is willing to stand up for it! That is why people love you so much!
Amen Carrie! She really is a great role model. I appreciate her morality.
That’s great to hear, Carrie. It’s nice to see someone who has great moral character.
Wow! I am so happy to see such a young lady maintaining such great values. You are a great roll model to young women.

“morality”? I’d say maybe she just doesn’t want to live in Ottawa, but 1) I don’t actually know if he lives there and 2) I’ve never been, and considering I visit places like Detroit, St. Louis, Buffalo, the Quad Cities, and Cleveland for fun, I’m not really the one to mock cities…

at least it doesn't say "Huet and Cry": glad I don't have to write sports headlines, #5 in an ongoing series

no, "Huet and Cry" is better. you can have that one for next time for free, NHL.com, for all the joy you bring me...

Blackhawks shut out the depleted Red Wings in their first Chicago visit this season, 3-0. that's 3 shutouts in 4 games for the Hawks, Huet's 3rd of the season. with Niemi's 3, that means the Hawks have the most shutouts this season. and the best home ice record, though they had that already. and they've beaten all the rest of the Original Six this year. (I saw them beat the other 4 teams, and if I'd seen a standing room ticket for one for this come up, I might have gone.) Huet has that kind of scary smile on his face again, as you see above. I'll post more about it but I have a brief window of time to finally upload my own photos onto my computer (brief = during intermission of the other game I'm watching; learned that I can't have iPhoto and a game going at the same time if I don't want my computer to freeze so badly I have to restart it multiple times. I knew that would happen...)

vintage obsession

a little more history, before I get back to posting about amazing recent Blackhawks games (I'm still working on even getting the photos uploaded onto my computer!) and debuting a couple new (and silly) "ongoing series."

I don't think I've explained why I have a Toronto Maple Leafs section in the blogroll. I like the idea of having one Canadian team I'm following (if not entirely cheering on, since, well, duh, they're in the same division as the Bruins), and they have some people I really like in their blogosphere, so...that's good enough. I've added Vintage Leaf Memories to the blogroll--mostly history, with some current news/opinions. I especially want to note the recent piece on The "Original Twelve", detailing the next six teams added during NHL expansion. this site is not to be confused with Vintage Leafs, another good one (all images, not much text).

okay, I already posted a fight video this week, and I really only meant to post ones I saw in person, in game recaps, but this showed up tonight and I couldn't resist. North Stars! I've mentioned the Whalers and North Stars multiple times on this blog and there are probably current NHL teams I haven't mentioned once (Florida Panthers, perhaps?). I am not losing sleep over this.

I hope my east coast readers are okay, I know there's been quite a snowstorm out there. uh, is it headed west?

Boston vs Chicago day 5 part 2 I'm in a hurry

oh, one more preview. I'm rushing to leave to the game soon (and hoping to see a friend's NESN broadcast of it eventually), after a Flickr meetup in the Loop (photographer, not hockey-related, but one friend there wore a Canadiens sweater because he knew I like the Bruins, and I'll be too polite to attach a note saying "BOOOO!" on the Flickr photos showing it), then a Twitter meetup with hockey people.

NOW...I know some Bruins fans/friends/fellow bloggers out there, of course. these are smart, funny, decent people. yet I know they'll be advancing the strange, misguided notion that the Bruins are the team that should win the game tonight. yes, really, there are people that think this! the Bruins should win, even if that breaks the winning streak of the Hawks when I see them (11 games, 11 wins). even if that deprives America's Chicago's a small area of Chicago's northwest side's sweetheart of the blogosphere from seeing the Blackhawks win she's so rightfully earned by showing up to games, cheering, and belatedly posting rambling recaps. I guess we agree to disagree.

anyway, one more from The Brothers Esposito (1971)

hmm, I hope that's not a bad sign. as for an actual preview of the game, or predictions, or wishes? well, I'm disappointed it won't be the battle of the backup Finnish goalies tonight; it'll be Thomas vs. Niemi. I've been excited to see two consecutive shutouts, but I REALLY don't want one tonight. I'm fine with Boston getting a point, though I've seen too many OT and SO games this season already. I'm not wearing anything Bruins because I don't own any Bruins wear yet, and I'd probably feel guilty wearing it to a game here anyway. I don't care if Savard gets a hat trick and Thornton beats up one of the Hawks, as long as the Hawks end up winning. my idea score would be Hawks winning 5-4 in overtime.* but if I had to see a team to finally see them lose to AAAAHH DON'T FINISH THAT SENTENCE

*I'll confess (to anyone paying close attention) that I MEANT to put that wish/prediction in the post but forgot, and added it later. that wound up being the score! (in a shootout, though, not OT). I wish I'd officially predicted it somewhere

Boston vs Chicago countdown day 5

the last day of the series, but I'll have one more game preview post in the afternoon...

part I: The Brothers Esposito
yesterday was "brother against brother" photos, today it's "brothers working together." awwwww. first, the photo that convinced me I HAD to check out this 1971 book and scan and post the photos:

and now, a nice All-Star photo:

I meant to introduce this series by noting Aubrey's Hockey Advent Calendar, which is a great idea I wish I'd thought of (sure, I could have done one too, but didn't come up with a theme). she's posted a lot of interesting videos and historical articles, and today posted links to a 1971 Sports Illustrated article on the Espositos (I didn't even bother to look up any extra material to post with the photos!), and a Wikipedia list of father/son/brothers in hockey. so check it out...

I've gotten in the habit of just assuming any players in the NHL/AHL/college/junior hockey with the same name, if it's not a super-common name, are brothers. if I heard of two writers with the same name, I might wonder if they're related, but in hockey I assume they are unless it's proven otherwise. i.e., I saw the Abbotsford Heat play the Chicago Wolves, and Keith Seabrook is in fact Blackhawks' Brent Seabrook's brother. (I know, I should have known that sooner...) the Heat are the Calgary Flames' affiliate, so if Keith moves to the NHL, it'd add more interest to the already intense games between those teams...

part II: when I think of Boston, I think of:

saved the best (well, to me) for last: the MBTA! I've photographed the Chicago Transit Authority extensively, as you can see. (and even had my photos included in a traveling exhibit that's now...ON DISPLAY AT THE CTA HEADQUARTERS.) so I love photographing the transit system of other cities I visit. I had three trips to the Boston area in 2009, and each time I bought the amazingly cheap 7-day unlimited pass ($15! the equivalent in Chicago is $23, $28 for the one that includes suburban buses, which I need to get to Wolves games). I rode the ENTIRE subway/elevated system on my first trip (didn't get to all of the Silver Line, but that's a bus, not a train).

don't know whether regular MBTA commuters would be surprised by this or not, but I found the system so fantastic--on time, convenient, reasonably priced, as noted--that it nearly made me weep to have to go back and ride the CTA. and all the colorful trains! Chicago also names its lines after colors (since the 1990s), but in Boston, the trains actually are the colors of the lines they're named after--they're all plain silver in Chicago. and the variety--Chicago is purely a heavy rail system, while MBTA uses heavy rail, light rail, trolley cars, AND bus rapid transit? I had a couple bad waits, and it's not much fun to be around before/after Red Sox games, but for most part it was great. BUT...the trains shut down after midnight, while the CTA has 24-hour service, so Chicago wins based on that.

and the commuter trains! I was staying with a friend who lived barely a block from a suburban station, so I got to see MBCR trains many times. my first trip on one was to Providence, and I had a few other rides. the MBTA pass even includes short trips on MBCR, so I went to Chelsea for no extra cost.

alas, some of the more macho railfans out there don't like the MBCR colors; they can't appreciate the wonder of PINK (or magenta?) trains. anyway, you can check out more of my MBTA/MBCR photos here. Bostonist.com even used one. I've actually had more fun taking transit photos in Boston than in New York (and technically Boston's subway is older...I've read several books on the history of Boston transit. I even know about lines that used to exist!)...yes, Boston people always like hearing that something there is better than in New York. I went a little overboard posting photos here, but why not?