As I move all my old blogs over to WordPress, this is bringing back some major memories. Ah, reminiscing.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Looking to the street below from our living room

THINGS I WILL MISS ABOUT CHICAGO

The way you can never predict what you’ll see when you wake up.  One Sunday morning, we looked down to Lake Shore Dr. to see a bike race while simultaneously watching a Batman stunt double flying in front of our living room window.

Being able to pick out my apartment, my bedroom window, from almost any photo of the Chicago skyline.

Being stopped on the sidewalk when I’m in a hurry by two people who are so excited to have their photo taken.  It reminds me to see the city with new eyes.

Adesso. The management may not seem to have their s*** together, but there’s something about sitting outside with a good bottle of wine and a dish of their polenta with shrimp and giardiniera that might make you die and go to heaven.  And in this heaven, I believe the clouds are made of the panna cotta at Vinci. Miles and miles of the creamiest panna cotta known to man.

While I’m at it, I’ll miss the food in general.  This city is insane.  How do I not weight 387 lbs?  The Pink Lady roll at Niu Sushi, bacon wrapped dates at Babareeba, peanut butter sandwiches at Violet Hour, lox and cream cheese on an egg roll at Eppy’s Deli (served by Mr. Epstein, the most crotchety old man), the French Toast dessert at The Gage – and those are just the usuals.  Not to mention all those one-off dishes that leave you in full on foodgasm.

Random Midwestern kindness.  One rainy Friday, I was struggling to carry my overpacked suitcase (of course) up the stairs to the El.  Another woman asked if I needed help.  In some cities, no one asks or cares if you need help.  You’ll probably just get pushed out of the way.  But another woman (in heels, no less!) stopped to care about me.

The little Indian guy who owns the sundries shop where I work and calls me “Miss U.S.”, which is his term for Miss America.  He gives me a hard time when I buy candy instead of fruit.

The notes on my desk stating that my building will be closed because a movie is filming right outside my office….and then trying to guess which movie it is and figuring out how I can stay to watch anyway.

The lady singing “Good Morning, Street Wise” every single day at Clark and Madison.  It is at once both annoying and catchy.

Taking my jogs along the lake and always being in the company of people running, walking, biking, rollerblading, whatever.  It’s like bring your iPod, bring your dog, bring your Grandma – who cares.  As long as you’re enjoying yourself, that’s all that matters.

My job.  That’s weird to say I’ll miss my job, I know.  Since I arrived here, it’s been one nonstop roller coaster ride from assisting a local photographer, then Crain’s, then to this job as a concierge.  All threaded together, experience after experience, linked in some way greater than what I had planned.  Sure, after 2 1/2 years I complain about certain aspects, that’s natural.  But to work as a concierge is to see a city in the best way possible.  You are invited to – and expected to – try new restaurants, sports games, theatre performances, museum exhibits, salons, spas, etc.  It’s ridiculously fun.  And all while working in what I’m still convinced is a reality show.  A piece of me will genuinely miss seeing my boss bust through the office door, Kramer-style, Prada sunglasses still on, an iPod bud dangling from one ear, and singing about how he doesn’t want to go to rehab, no no no.

All my yoga “students”.  The runners, the dancers, the Ironman triathlete (awesome!) who come to Little Old Me to learn something new.

THINGS I WILL NOT MISS ABOUT CHICAGO

Tween Tourists.  It may be your first time in the big city, but it’s certainly not your first time in the company of human beings.  No one wants to watch your neon blue denim pants overtake the width of the sidewalk while you swing your Forever 21 bag like a lasso.  What are you trying to catch anyway?  A clue maybe?

Elevator Etiquette.  To men especially – Please do not flail your arm through the already-closing elevator doors and grab on to anything inside because you simply cannot wait .2 seconds for the next one.  You look like a idiot with your suit jacket stuck in that place between the elevator triggering to reopen and it becoming just plain metal jaws ready to rip your arm off.

There’s just too many homeless people.  Something must be done.

What I call Poop Corners.  Those random assaults on the nostrils at various intersections that make you wonder if the entire sewer system is going to explode at the next opening in the sidewalk.

And while I’m at it, the corner of Lake and Wabash.  I wouldn’t call it a Poop Corner, but what IS that smell?

Waiting on line at Dominick’s while the guy in front of me figures out his food stamp situation, only to notice that he’s my neighbor.  I fully support the pursuit of equality and programs to help those in need, but it’s a hard realization when someone who lives in your very building is fishing around for food stamps while you write an oversized rent check each month.

The sheer inconsideration of many businesses and the Seventeenth Church of Christ on Wacker when it comes to shoveling and salting their sidewalks in the winter.  Days’ worth of snow plus 4 degree temperatures equals treacherous ice and the possibility for multiple broken ankles.  It’s not calculus.  Throw some salt around.