Marooned in Chinatown

Today it is on the river on the water taxi. $9 for a day rover.

So it is out of town on the south branch of the Chicago River. Soon the glitzy high-risers give way to the Amtrack rail yards on the right

and open bank in varying stages of redevelopment on the left.

The water taxi lets me off at Ping Tom Memorial Park. There are a few other clues that Chinatown is close by. Other than the name, the stop is marked with a pagoda in manicured gardens.

These guys carry out their daily Tai Chi routine with foil-covered wooden swords.

These locals are crossing the tracks to catch the next boat.

The centre of Chinatown is a 15 minute walk. It has a similar feel to every other Chinatown in every other city everywhere else in the world.

My eturn to the water taxi stop is hampered by a slow moving goods train. Lonnie Donegon’s Rock Island Line. It was not a good sign that several locals sat in the road as the pig-iron and coal wagons, the open cars and the flat-bed trucks trundled endlessly by. I exaggerate not, it could well have been over a mile in length. They had been here before.

10 minutes later it was still passing.

With relief the last wagon passed. We all cheered and went about our business. The water taxi dropped me back in the centre of town.

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