• Alvin YJ Kim

10 Hours in Chicago

Updated: Jun 7, 2018


#chicago #travel #summerinternship #spontaenousexploration #thisisrisa


There is nothing more fascinating than cityscapes. With the Chicago River parting the beautiful skyscrapers, visiting the great city of Chicago has always been on my agenda.


But this trip was not planned.


Background Story

Last Wednesday night, I put away all my belongings in a storage in Lubbock and was dropped off at the Lubbock Greyhound bus station by a friend to head out for my summer internship at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. The Lubbock regional airport does not offer cost-efficient airfares so I usually take the Greyhound to Dallas/Fort Worth and fly out of DFW. My itinerary was pretty ordinary as usual: bus ride from Lubbock to DFW, flight from DFW to Chicago, and connecting flight from Chicago to Rochester.


Greyhound Bus Ride to Dallas/Fort Worth

Per usual, I did not get much sleep on the bus ride as I wished. I noticed that the bus driver was over-correcting his steering so I suspected that he was sleep-driving. It probably did not help that I was sitting right by the restroom where the extremely pleasant aroma of human waste reminded me of something that my aunt once told me: "Nothing nice comes out of humans [sweat, saliva, etc.] so at least keep your words nice." I wanted to stay awake in case the sleepy bus driver lost control of the steering wheel and nobody was awake to save the bus (just kidding).


We finally arrived at the DFW station and I took the metro to get to the airport. Just in time that I got to the airport, United Airlines announced that my flight to Chicago and Rochester were delayed due to the weather. With approximately 10 hours to kill in Chicago, I realized that I can turn the delay inconvenience into a spontaneous Chicago exploration that I always wanted.


First Foot-long Spicy Italian Subway Sandwich in Chicago

Once I touched down in Chicago, I was thrilled to hop on the metro to the Chicago River. Without much sleep in the past 24-36 hours, I somehow survived the hour-long metro ride awake and started exploring the beautiful city of Chicago. Well, I got a Subway sandwich first.


If you know me at all, you know my love for Subway sandwiches. Spicy Italian on white bread with light mayo and Chipotle sauce, in particular. I have been going to Subway on an almost-daily basis for the same sandwich since November 2017. I go so often that both the day & night staff of Subway on University Ave. by TTU know what exactly I am getting when I pull up to park: Spicy Italian on white bread with 3 cookies and a small drink.


Why I love Subway so much and get the same order every single time? Efficiency.

Time-efficient: the staff & you knowing what exactly you're going to get saves time and eliminates chances of errors. Consistency often makes things efficient.

Cost-efficient: a foot-long Spicy Italian costs about 6 dollars and accounts for a big lunch/dinner, which means I won't have to eat much more for the rest of the day. I've done the math and it's cheaper to get Subway twice a day than to shop groceries (different for everyone!!!).

Health-efficient: yes, I am aware that processed foods won't do me too well. I just wanted to call it "health-efficient" to make myself feel better and justify my love for Subway. No, it's not healthy and I know :-)


Once I finished eating, I started exploring. It was such a breathtaking view that reassured my love for cityscapes:


Final Thoughts on Chicago

If you are thinking about visiting Chicago, I highly suggest that you do so during the day when the sun is out and you can get a better view of the skyscrapers. Be sure to visit some of the iconic sites around the city (make sure to get Subway). Visiting Chicago reminded me why I love the city so much. Living in the city [Los Angeles] is so much more than the fancy skyscrapers and city lights. Every element in the picture above (even the Subway cup) was built by humans from scratch with the sweat, blood, and tears of hardworking Americans. There is nothing more fascinating than seeing the result of generations' resiliency and persistence.



About the writer

Alvin is a senior undergraduate at Texas Tech University studying Information Technology.


Upon graduation, Alvin hopes to start his career in the Information/Cyber Security field.

Currently, Alvin is spending his summer in Rochester, MN working for Mayo Clinic as Information Security Intern. During his free time, Alvin enjoys boxing, riding his motorcycle, and taking pictures. You can view his work on www.alvinyjkim.com.


Alvin his open to connecting on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/alvinyjkim


Alvin YJ Kim // alvin.kim@ttu.edu

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