Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My Kind of Town

Chicago is the best city in the country.

You may argue all you'd like, but my opinion is set in stone.  There is culture and the lake and shopping and, of course Little Cuter and SIR.  I'm sure I'd like any city in which my girl and her guy were living, but the best will still be reserved for the city of big shoulders.

There's public transportation with a pass back feature - the monthly bus pass can be used for the holder and 7 of her friends.  Hybrid and clean, the front seats are reserved for the elderly and the infirm and the signs above them remind passengers to Stand up if asked.

I took the express bus to Water Tower Place to search for white Converse for the wedding.  It was cloudy when I boarded and pouring when I got off.  Unfortunately, the umbrella I grabbed from the hat rack sported broken ribs.... and I had the bloody thumb to prove it.  Paul Stuart, the upscale clothier,  used to be in the basement of the John Hancock Tower.  Best Buy replaced it several years ago and I've never recovered from the shock.  On Friday, though, I was delighted with its presence; I dropped in and found a phone charger and a bandaid in record time.

Then, it was across the street to America's first vertical mall. I needed a new umbrella (though I kept the broken one just in case the kids loved it and needed to save it) and there were hundreds of options.  Tucson is many things but a shopping mecca is not one of them.  I was overwhelmed with choices : Cubbies bumbershoots of all sizes and descriptions, Chicago collapsibles, and, of course, Totes.  Stripes and dots and primary colors.... I covered all seven floors of the mall before landing in Macy's accessories department and joining the long line of women who were also buying rain protection.

I haven't used an umbrella for the six years we've been in Tucson.  Everyone on line was complaining about the downpour while I was enjoying the wet.  I smiled inside.

The whole weekend has been like that - a study in contrasts.  The wedding shower was filled with women who've know my girl since she was born; in Tucson, my family are strangers.  There's something about the women with whom I raised my children that new friends just cannot replicate.  I have no interest in moving back to the cold and the humidity and the traffic, but I am delighted that the kids have decided to make their life here.  

When I look out my window at home, I see mountains and a big blue sky.  From the bay windows here on the ninth floor, I see hundreds of other apartments and their dwellers turning off lights or changing the channel on the television.  I enjoy watching the Gambrel quail and their babies frolic in my front yard.  Little Cuter and SIR look down upon the swimmers in their pool and create backstories from their antics.  

And then there's this
taken from Sixteen, Trump Tower's outdoor restaurant and cocktail bar.  
The drinks were expensive and potent, and the girls enjoyed their adult popsicles
 while I admired the architecture
 and Seret and I reminisced and shared parenting tips ..... okay, she shared and I learned, as usual.

I love my home in the desert southwest..... but I'm really glad to have an ongoing excuse to return to the midwest and scenes like these
Lake Michigan does strange things to clouds, and I was there to see it.

I'm leaving today, with a tear in my eye.  It's hard to have to split my heart.


  1. And the people in Chicago are great! A few years ago when I was there I wore my Diamondbacks championship shirt while going to a Cubs game, and the friendly banter back and forth with Cubs fans was amazing. In (too) many towns I'd probably have been lynched for wearing an opposing team shirt.

  2. I love Chicago too. Unfortunately, when I lived there, I was in law school and did not have the chance to enjoy the city much. We try to go back at least twice a year now and it is never long enough.

  3. I've never been to Chicago. Seen some really nifty photo's of it though. Have friends who live in the burbs there...someday I'll get there! And it might be just next year for the Havanese Specialty Dog Show. I'm looking forward to it. ...debbie

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  5. Love Chicago! Took the Architectural Boat Tour and I was enchanted! Last time we were there it was 100 degrees, which prevented us from going to Oak Park to explore more architecture, but there's always a next time.

  6. The boat headed upstream... even though it should be downstream but that's Chicago for ya... the one on the left is the Architectural Boat Tour, Meg. Debbie, you FOR SURE want to go to that dog show, visit your friends and see the finest city I know. In fact, you all should!

  7. Forest Girl, when you're a Cubbies fan you are just so happy to see someone who won something sometime that it's easy to share the joy!

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