Fire on the Brown Line… and Bagels

This post is a week overdue.  My apologies.  The fire threw me off.  Keep reading.

Last week Tami and I went to Beans and Bagels on Montrose for our weekly writing workshop.  Tami had heard rave reviews about this one and we were excited to try it out.  The coffee was great (Metropolis coffee again), the atmosphere was artsy and the bagels and sandwiches were fantastic.  It’s a small joint but we managed to secure a decent sized table in the corer next to an outlet – a perfect set up for a day of writing.  We hunkered down, opened our laptops and got to work.

Until the fire.

As you can see from the map, Beans and Bagels is located directly underneath the Montrose Brown Line stop making it convenient for commuters to grab a cup of joe and a bite before work.  A large truck rolled by just as the first two mini-explosions took place, causing Tami and me to think that something had fallen off of the truck to create the loud noise.  Then we saw the smoke.  It’s still not totally clear what caused the fire, but it appeared to be either a walker or a bike or a shopping cart that somehow got caught on the tracks.  All I know is that the tracks were raining down fiery tar onto the sidewalk below and that strip of track was ablaze.  The falling ignited tar was actually quite beautiful, it reminded me of a flaming waterfall.

The six or so patrons of Beans and Bagels were all huddled around the door watching the action.  Together we speculated on the cause, wondered at the delayed reaction of the Chicago Fire Department and were eager to tell new comers of what we’d witnessed.  To quote my Kenyan friend, Bridgette, nothing brings a group of people together like a fire or a dead body.

Never a dull moment.


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