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Local Color: Romantic Tableau CTA-Style

Jackson Station on the Red Line of the Chicago...
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Anyone who rides the CTA frequently has likely come across a few sordid tales. Meetings with Chicago’s strangers, drunks, hustlers and an assortment of other oddities can be found regularly on just about any line in the city year-round.

Kevin O’Neil, the CTA Tattler, has been documenting these stories for more than five years and was willing to describe a few of the Red Line’s best moments—from “Exposed-butt Man” to “Bathrobe Woman.“ His familiarity with the rails includes “things heard on the CTA” as well as “things you wish you hadn’t heard on the CTA,” and recounts bits of daily Chicago life that most of us would rather forget as soon as we step off the platform.

Along with a few accounts of the obscene, O’Neil was able give some pointers to help both the uninitiated, and the frequent rider, cope with the typically strange world of the CTA rail system.

His blog, which keeps up with all things CTA and where readers can submit their experiences, can be found at

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