OK. So I know you’ve been waiting with bated breath to hear about my drive to Chicago. This centers on the radio stations. Because I tend to prefer the radio to CDs when I’m driving. I have no idea why.
So I start off with my local GR stations. That lasts maybe 60 miles before the static kicks in and I’m forced to surf. I do so throughout lower Michigan and come across only one good song. Van Morrison’s “Brown-eyed Girl”…do you remember when?
Anyway, the Chicago airwaves come along soon enough. And there’s plenty to choose from. XRT. 101.9. Old standards. But I just happen to tune into my absolute favorite radio program during my flipping. One I can get in GR, sure, but only on Sunday afternoons if I happen to be driving around.
“This American Life” hit the airwaves at 7:00 Chicago time, just as I was hitting the tolls on the Skyway.
Ira Glass? I think I have a small crush on him, based solely on his voice and his presentation. I’ve never met an episode of TAL that I haven’t adored.
But this episode? The ultimate. “24 Hours at The Golden Apple.” It does NOT get better than this, people. Seriously.
The Golden Apple is a Chicago diner that sits at the intersection of Southport and Lincoln and some other street I can’t recall. You know, the kind of restaurant that doesn’t care about low-fat, lowÂ–carb or natural foods. Straight up diner food. And Ira decides that it would be cool to interview the diverse patrons of this particular establishment.
An entire hour of radio goodness. Perfectly timed as I was buzzing along the Dan Ryan and got confused, yet again, by the new exit ramps and ended up taking the Lake Shore Drive exit instead of bypassing the city. (This happened when the redid the Skyway ramp. They both used to exit right. Now there’s this left thing going on. What the hey?)
So as I’m weaving my way through the city to make my way back to 94, I’m enthralled in the adventures of two ditzy teenager girls, one very drunk woman, a seasoned waitress, and all the other characters who make their way to the diner that day.
I heart NPR.