Friday, December 26, 2008

January Meeting

We will be meeting again on Saturday, January 3rd at...

Gelsosomo's Pizzeria

2605 Laporte Avenue
Valparaiso, IN 46383

map | driving directions

This month we will be eating free pizza supplied by the Northwest Indiana Spinal Cord Injury Group and discussing some goals that we might have for the upcoming year.

The December meeting was great, thanks to everyone who made it out. We'll see you next week.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A message from our friend, Ben, who plays for the Wheelchair Bulls...

"Our next games that are nearby will be at the holiday sports fest at McCormick Place the 27th & 28th. The Mayor's Office of Special Events presents Mayor Daley's Holiday Sports Festival, so save the date, it's FREE and begins Saturday, December 27 through Monday, December 29 at McCormick Place in Halls A & B (2301 S. Martin Luther King Drive), presented by the City of Chicago, Chicago Park District, and McCormick Place.

If you have never seen Wheelchair basketball in person, you should check this out. If you have, then you know what I mean. This is the most opportune place to go, too. There are so many sports at this Holiday Sports festival, it's ridiculous. Last year I saw sled hockey, and a ping pong tournament as well.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

December's Meeting

We will be meeting on Saturday, December 13th, 4pm at...

Kelsey's Steak House

2300 Morthland Drive
Valparaiso, IN 46383

(219) 465-4022


I am excited about this one... a little change is god sometimes.
It's our way of saying thank you for the hard work and/or Happy Holidays!

I need to have a head count for the reservation by Friday,
so if everyone could RSVP as soon as possible that would be great.

I hope to hear from you soon and see you on Saturday!

Joe White
Northwest Indiana Spinal Cord Injury Group

Friday, December 5, 2008

Public Transportation to Chicago

On November 7, 2008 I took my daughter on a trip to Chicago. We set out to Millennium Park, Rainforest Cafe, and Adler Planetarium using public transportation.

We started of with the South Shore Line train. Both the Dune Park, in Chesterton, and the Portage/Ogden Dunes stops are wheelchair accessible. I prefer Ogden Dunes, because there is a covered platform at that stop. Dune Park has an aluminum lift the conductor has to drag to the train and crank up by hand. It is functional, but it seems like just one more step.

Once at the Portage/Ogden Dunes stop, you make your way up the ramp and press the red button on the East wall. This signals to the train that they have to pull up to the platform. The train doors will open, conductor will come out and lower a small yellow "drawbridge". This surface was within about 4 inches of the train door. I just popped a wheelie over the slightly uneven gap.

When you get on the train, there is a seating area with one seat removed. I'm pretty sure there is a spot like this on each car. Some cars have restrooms. Unfortunately, the one we were in did not. This meant we got the adventure of changing cars through those little doors at the end. This is not a good idea while the train is moving. The Isles are plenty wide enough for most manual chairs, the doors are a tight fit though. While the train is moving the doors are moving side to side where the diamond plate floors are, and seem like they could easily damage a chair if you got cought in between them . We went through as the train was sitting at a stop and it worked out well.

Once I was in the other car, it was time to try the restroom. It was tight, but my chair fit so it wasn't as bad as an airplane restroom. If you want to get on to the toilet, you have to be able to do a 180 degree transfer.

As of right now, the 12th St./Roosevelt Rd stop is not wheelchair accessible. To get to the museum campus or Solider Field, you have to go to one of the last two stops and take a bus or a cab back up to that area.

We got off at the end of the line, Millennium Station/Randolph St. There is an elevator that brings you up on the corner of Michigan Ave and Randolph. To get to Millennium Park, you have to cross north, then cross east, then cross south... it's a city thing. We checked out the Sky Cloud, or as I like to call it the "Bean" and took some pictures. It started to drizzle and get cold, so we headed to Rainforest Cafe next for dinner.

We were going to take the El to Grand St, but to our dismay the Grand stop is not accessible. This meant we were limited to taking a bus, or a cab. Bus i twas, part of the decision to use public transportation was to save a little bit on money. The buses are pretty easy to use as long as you can understand the bus routs and the bus schedule. I am pretty new to this public transportation thing, but we were able to figure it out and got off the bus about 2 blocks from the Rainforest Cafe.