Craigslist, the universe's authority on love, used bikes and pyramid schemes, announced Monday that, of the five largest U.S. subway or metro systems, Chicago's "L" system is the most romantic, outpacing New York, Washington, Philadelphia and Boston with its apparently high levels of indirect eye contact and subtle flirtation.
The website's research director Peter Freedman ranked each of the cities by dividing how often Craigslist users referenced a mass-transit system station in a Missed Connection by its average ridership, ultimately arriving at its "TRIST" (Train Romance Index Score Total). Freedman repeated the calculation for each station, 750 in total. Chicago stations at Belmont (Red/Brown/Purple), Addison (Red), California (Pink), Linden (Purple) and Fullerton (Red/Brown Purple) all ranked among the top ten of all the stations though they all fell short of the two "most romantic" stations in the study: Washington, DC (Vienna/Fairfax-GMU) and Philadelphia (Cecil B. Moore).
While A.V. Club Philadelphia made some valid points about the study's methodology, a quick perusal of Chicago's (often NSFW) Missed Connections offers some solid evidence of the sort of behavior that's blowing a lot of love through the city's already steamy summer air these days.
At the Chicago Red Line station, a 25-year-old blue shirt-wearing male recently eyed up "a muscle dude w/ a red shirt and khaki shorts" waiting for the train.
"The train was packed and so it made for some close contact and touching, We both got off at the Belmont stop and were unable to continue what we started," he wrote on June 7. "I've never done that before, but happy I did."
One 24-year-old male Orange Line rider at the Pulaski stop "couldn't take an eye" off a woman he saw in a June 5 posting. "I would love to enjoy a long train ride with you sometime," he offered.
Finally, another male Red Line rider, 26, apparently felt the sparks flying while "chatt[ing] about the puking girl" with another guy at the Fullerton stop in a June 7 posting.
"[N]ot the most romantic subject, but I meant to ask you what Dean Koontz you were reading. My favorite is Intensity," he wrote.
Want to get yourself in the mood for some gentle gazing or something not so gentle? Check out some sights from Craigslist's picks for the top 10 "most romantic" stations: