Remember, DH is out of town… the weekend was mine … and Chicago beckoned!
Chicago is a city of neighborhoods. Chicago presents itself as if it were small towns nestled side by side, homes snuggled tightly together with low story condos randomly interspersed. Lakeview is my neighborhood of exposure, I love it! It is vibrant, healthy, active and stable. Friends have moved back to Lakeview after a stint of duty in the suburbs. They left the area 20 years ago when living West of Southport was discouraged and Southport itself was undeveloped. What a change a couple of decades can make, as the Southport Corridor is thriving.. Neighbors of all generations mingle together, live side by side, push strollers, walk dogs, saunter into retirement and flourish in Lakeview. DS discovered Lakeview, invested in a gut rehab 2 bedroom closet with an amazing deck, he intends to remain a city dweller throughout. And a loyal Cubs fan, difficult as that may prove to be!
Sounds like a public relations piece for the Chamber of Commerce… all true! Add the season of Lovely; perfection! And a perfect day to explore!
DS was also out of town, leaving his most special GF available for a fun afternoon of shopping, walking, talking, eating and sipping! We covered Southport, and then set out for a longish walk.
Lakeview merges into Lincoln square along Lincoln Avenue. Walking north highlights amazing foodie choices, shopping choices and businesses, all housed in repurposed buildings which appear to be nearly 100 years old. Shout out to Le Cafe, a new addition to the foodie scene. The side of cabbage with red vinegar and pepper, a traditional family recipe, was a sharp counterpoint to the ammish chicken salad and mushroom/cheese panini. Stop in, well priced and worth it! Of course, Timeless Toys is an icon of Lincoln Square, arriving as the area first began to morph and emerge again, the shopkeepers have created a toy environment of suburb choice and insistent sensory stimulation. Toys are everywhere, adorable to see open toys at toddler level and watch the process of discovery unfold.
Back in Lakeview for dinner at N’omi, the price fixe menu was light and spicy, leaving room for foryo up the block! Only the 20,000 steps taken could mediate the calorie count of this amazing day.
With an overnight in Lakeview, another amazing day of Lovely in the city awaited… Driving along Lakeshore Drive Sunday morning provided an impressive view of the Loop, already waking up, getting ready for a full day hosting tourists, suburbanites and locals thronging to the area. Figuring out how to exit the drive, merge and dive down into the Grant Park Parking facility, not so lovely… but done!
Then, friends arrive by train ready to explore, we head to the Art Institute where we could have stayed all day.. Discovering the modern wing, and revisiting the paperweight collection and the miniature rooms filled our time. We wandered into galleries telling the story of ethnic settlement in Chicago during the 20th century. Looking at visuals of the neighborhoods I had traveresed the prior day, deepened the connection to the areas hisotry. Listening to the stories of my friends whose families settled first and stayed in Chicago brought their neighborhoods to life.
After a time, Lovely beckoned with lunch outside at the Park Grill, followed by a slow stroll around Millenium Park. The BP bridge is amazing, even partially closed, we enjoyed observing progress on Maggie Daley park from the bridge. The Lurie gardens colored in shades of purple blooms were dramatic, yet welcoming.
Clearly Chicagoans love Chicago, from the abundant generousity of families such as the Luries, Pritzkers, Rubloffs and Thornes generations of ordinary Chicagoans are able to share the wealth and beauty of our world.
Such a wonderfull weekend, filled with experiences, time to leave the city and head back to the burbs… I’ll be back.. this is the year of celebrating the season of Lovely in Chicago!
(author’s note…. I wanted to tell you about my weekend, from a bit of a distance… draw you in, create a sense of the fun and excitement of the weekend without being the story of me… I think I got the sense of the city… yet in doing that, missed some of the personality and nuance of the conversations and people. This writing is a journey!)
I love all you young things telling your stories, and fellow oldsters discovering this new genre of communication. I love the feedback, thrive on the likes, hunger for the comments and check my number of followers daily!
Words come easily too me.. verbal and written… (feedback from a recent dinner party…’she’s very nice, but she sure talks alot!’)
Putting the words on ‘paper’ as a daily discipline is invigorating, challenging and rewarding. Over 100 followers… WOW! THANK YOU!
It is time for a give away… a drawing… (US residents only please…due to postal considerations. )
DD tells me about give aways… she won an entire box of Kind bars and granola… Since I don’t have sponsors… my thank you give away is all on me…
SO… all comments on this blog received by Monday night May 20 will be eligible for a drawing.. The prize is a blank journal.. Could be used for that manual part of writing, slower, perhaps deeper, more private than a blog… or just for to do lists and notes to the fam.
I am looking forward to hearing from you… tell me one thing about yourself and enter to win… !
Only for 2 nights… but still outta town, outta the house… going going gone! I am taking him to the airport this morning… always a good way to be sure he is truly going away!
Well, that doesn’t sound very friendly, does it? ! I only mean it in the kindest most loving, going to spend the weekend all by myself, sort of way. He is welcome back! I’ll be at the airport to gather him up and bring him home on Monday! I wouldn’t trade him in, couldn’t live without him, wouldn’t have my life any other way, however………….
Now that we are clear about that, let’s get on with the bubbling sweetness of joy, of anticipation and possibilitiy that is giggling inside me! Is it selfish to want to be alone, think only of me, do what I want, when I want for an entire weekend? Hmm, not going there, it feels so fine, no reason to muddle it up with thoughtful thoughts!
Experience tells me the weekend will go by oh so too fast, that I will actually accomplish less than my fabulous imagination has scheduled, that the house will feel housey, not homey and I will miss DH.
Yet, there will be the silence, the total silence of no television. There will be the Sunday paper, all for me, no sharing! There will be the meals, tappas-y bits of tasty cheese and interesting crackers from TJ’s. There will be the lack of schedule, the lack of considering another as I walk, talk, shop and dally about.
Just the right amount of time to be self indulgent, and then he will be back. Back with stories of a weekend spent with his sibs celebrating another family milestone. Back and ready to listen to my stories…. Back with a cute smile and a big hug.
(author’s note: as I write more posts, I am becoming more interested in the structure of my thoughts, of the word choices… bubbling, giggling.. I like those word pictures… but then followed by such basic words… do what I want… should there be excessive adjectives in every sentence? Does the structure/style require more consistency or is it ok to have picture words and everyday words in the same paragraph/blog? It reads well to me, does it tell a story, convey a feeling? What is your takeaway when you read it?)
what is a galumph? Mary Schmich and the OP ED piece in today’s tribune reference galumphing….
I like made up words… Fuffy, as in Just Fuffy is a made up word… I like the uniqueness of blended words, sound bite word sounds and non words used as words.
Reading Galumph twice in one day in the same paper, makes me realize I want to be the one making up the words, repurposing the words and using words in unusual syntax.
That’s all I have to say about that.
(Can a blog post be under 100 words?)
Do you drink it?
Yesterday’s Tribune carried a column by Mary Smich talking about Intelligencia opening a coffee bar in NYC. In the high line hotel… (find posts on the high line, here and on Luv What You Do)
Apparently the big deal is that it is a pour over bar. Pour over, as in wanting decaf after noon at Starbucks. It is not brewed, but hot water decanted over fresh grounds. Tastes ok. Takes awhile to process.
Is it worth it? Depends. DD and I found a pour over coffee bar in Fish Creek (Door County) last fall. It was amazing, we chatted with the barrista while the pour over was pouring. Soaked up the simple details of the shop. Considered whether or not to add chocolate or a muffin to our morning coffee ritual. We had time. It was an experience.
Sometimes I do a pour over at home in the morning… I do like it with strong Peets brand coffee. It is annoying when I want a quick cup of decaf and am out of Vias. Or waiting at Starbucks for the water to slowly trickle through the filter into the cup.
Do New Yorkers have time to sit at a coffee bar and wait for a pour over? Hard to imagine. My view of New Yorkers has them on the move, clutching Starbucks to go cups as they rush. Sometimes I wonder if they know where they are rushing or is rushing just so much of a habit that they head out willy nilly and begin rushing before determining where they are going?
But back to coffee, it is a routine for many of us. They day does not begin until the coffee appears. Brewed, decanted, poured over, instant we choose our method and drink up.
How important is the experience? Time will tell.
(author’s note…. I had an idea for this post, got it started and it lost direction…. didn’t have enough ‘meat’ to carry the theme.. this is the kind of post that may belong in Trash… and would go there if I was writing professionally. I am a student of writing, there is no Trash, only experience and opportunity to learn. Bear with me!)
(following post comes under the category of shouldn’t be written in case someone I know reads it, however….)
We are moving our office down the hall, 100 feet down the hall to a bigger suite…. with a kitchen! After 21 years with the firm and 4 locations… we are movin on up.. kitchen, with a dishwasher, conference room, with a flat screen, and storage abounding…
This will likely be our last office as we ‘sunset’ our careers…
My office will be amazing…. corner, big windows, lots of space… No other functions happening in my space… quiet… oh the pleasure of anticipation.
Before I left on vacation we determined that the office suite would be painted in greys… shades of grey with a multi tone carpet… smart, sophisticated, understated, classy.
Sigh. (there really is no other word to express the results.) Because the new office is on the same floor, down the hall, we keep an eye on it! Returning from vacation I snag a peek through the window and note that the far wall of my office, just slightly visible through the doorway is…………….. green. Green? Green. Entering the space for a close up view, I discover that not only is the far wall of my new home away from home green, two other walls are also green and the fourth wall is…….. wait for it, blue. Blue? Blue.
There must be a mistake. the next office is painted with the same colors and the next is painted in similiar, slightly better colors. Time for action. The painter is kind and patient as he shows me the colors, the schematic and confirms that he is painting according to what was ordered. There is no mistake.
When confronted with my findings, the main man of our group responds that he is color blind. Color blind? Color blind. The next man walks down the hall and says oh doesn’t this look nice, so light and bright. Further queries provide information, that only the offices will be green and blue, the conference room will be grey and the main area neutral with a mauve accent wall. And, … the carpet will have all the colors represented. This is an office, not a circus for God’s sake.
I am pretty crushed, but put the corporate face on it and respond that once the furniture is in, we’ll never even notice the office colors. I am getting comfortable with that until yesterday… when heading down the hall I see a slip of the new carpet tucking out under the main door. Based on the previous conversation, I am expecting perhaps a flecked tweed with tiny dots of green, blue, grey, beige and mauve. Nope…. brown and yellow. Glued to the floor, done deal.
Honestly, the carpet looks quite ok with the light grey conference room and the main neutral area… Not my choice, a bit 70′s for me, but a clean crisp look all the same… And then there is my office…. can you see it? Green and blue walls with a brown and yellow carpet.
There is still a kitchen with running water and a dishwasher. There is still storage space abounding. There is still a conference room. There are still the big windows… It will be fine… I am going to buy an area rug!
I am curious as to the reasons that bloggers blog. Passion comes to mind. Whether sharing or recruiting, a blog is a venue for passion. Ego? Blogging is an outlet for ego, telling the world the wonderfulness of oneself. Sales, certainly. Bloggers selling services or wares abound. I wonder what other reasons bloggers begin to blog? How about you? Why did you start a blog? Are your reasons the same now as when you began?
Can blogging be a venue for new writers? Yes, a blog site provides a free forum for a writer to find an audience. For me, the audience is a bonus, a wonderful delightful unexpected bonus. I am two months into a goal of writing every day for one year. WordPress provides a format, a structure to facillitate my goal.
Early morning is my writing time, first thing, with a cup of coffee, while the world is still quiet, I sit with my thoughts and craft the days blog. It is getting harder. Much harder. Not because I have run out of things to say, to write about, after just two months. I have plenty to say.
This process is becoming much more difficult as I challenge myself to do my best, get it right. Each blog, of a few hundred words or so, is a window of opportunity to express a thought, clearly and concisely. The word choices matter. They matter for so many reasons. There is the nuance of feeling that one word gives over another. There is the flow, the rhythm of the writing. Is it a comfortable read or a slog? Then there is style, finding consistency throughout. Variety of word choice is important, but variety for the sake of variety may produce an adjective filled blog, that doesn’t fulfill the mission of the topic.
500 words or so may take me an hour to write. I write, read, write, reread, stop, sip the coffee, think, write, read… repeat. There is ego, I often like what I have written. I am untrained as a writer so what I like may not actually be quality writing. I wonder about that.
Like many, I have always wanted to write. Maybe a best selling novel. Maybe a column in a newspaper or magazine. Maybe a screenplay. Perhaps blazing OP ED pieces for the New York Times. I have a fabulous imagination! Surprisingly, I am not alone! So, I wonder. What makes one blog go viral, while another sits idle? What makes one author ‘hit it big’ while millions of other manuscripts languish? We all have the same words to choose from, the same world to use as our muse, the same opportunity to put the words on ‘paper’.
For now, I am going to continue to write, continue to challenge myself to do my best. I am going to seek out opportunities for feedback, to be heard as a writer. And I am going to identify myself as a writer. Who knows what lies ahead, the mystery is part of the lure.
(author’s note… is lure the best word to end with? I started with ‘part of the draw’… sat, thought, knew there was another word just outside of my grasp… this writing stuff is hard!)