Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The diamond in the rough

I'm having Aladdin flashbacks due to what I titled this entry, but oh well. I'll make it out of the Cave of Wonders and back into...well, here.
So speaking of caves I've been in, my computer was sans a power cable since Memorial Day. Hence no writing. And of course, when you suddenly don't have a blog to post to, you want to post a million things and the writing comes out of you like an exhalation.

Memorial Day was fantastic. This is pretty much a picture of the perfect day.

I had decided earlier on in the week that I wanted to go do something just for me, in lieu of the picnic I usually hold. This came about because I didn't really have the time to plan a picnic in the midst of starting a new job and all of that- was too tired, too information overloaded, too off my game.  I've since recovered from the freaky life change freakout that my body and mind tend to go through, and I think that this weekend was a good reason why.

I may not hold much love for Illinois in general or even the suburbs, with Libertyville being the exception, of course, but Chicago? There's no place like it. It's a big glittery gem.  It's interesting, it's diverse, it's huge....the lakefront stretches out in front of you if you want to enjoy the beach, there's soft green grass and trees to hang out under, fancy restaurants and hotels if that's your, shows, culture and craziness. You want it, it's probably somewhere here.

I started the day off with my friend Erin, taking pictures and hanging out here at Olive Park. We had a nice lunch inside to get out of the heat and the crowds at an Irish pub called D4. The food was fantastic and the shandy was just right for the summer sun. After she had to leave for another event, I went back here and spent an hour plus in the shade of a beautiful set of trees reading my magazine, people-watching, and napping.  Read an awesome story about a man in the area who started to make violins and researched all the science behind the sound. Exactly the right story for me in exactly the right place.

I was feeling amazing so I continued my day.  I originally was going to skip by Navy Pier altogether but it was so hot I had to stop in for water. This led me to wander around some, even though it was crowded, just to get some AC and some hydration.  This also led me to the Billy Goat Tavern's Navy Pier location, because a long time ago on another fantastic Chicago trip, I'd had a drink called a Horny Goat that was awesome and I was feeling nostalgic. While I sat there, I watched a few men in pirate costumes climb the mast of a tall ship.  And I thought to myself...."I keep wanting to do these things...why not just go for it?"

I've been pushing myself to do that more often, if I have the means. It started with the audition I did for an improv comedy group. That was at the encouragement of my good friend Ezra one night after seeing the troupe. I'm not sure what made him so convincing that night but he just said "Look, no matter what happens, you won't regret trying. You said you always wanted to do something like that"
Well Ezra, it stuck. And the audition was fun, and though I didn't make it in, I did feel like I had some talent in that area (confirmed by the troupe) and could possibly work on it and do it in the future. And it inspired me to stop stopping before I start. (and to write with terrifying grammar!) It could be something little, like trying a new dish (today I tried tiger cries at a thai place by work) or something bigger, like the audition or this boat trip.  And being alone doesn't excuse not trying.  I'm an independent person, and I like exploration alone and with people.  I figure if I try it and like it, I can suggest it to someone else that I want to go with. I love watching people experience something awesome for the first time anyway.

Some ship shots to inspire you:

This guy was awesome. I believe his name was Jeff. He loves his job, and loves sailing. We talked some about sailing when he found out I'd done sailboat crew for a year or two out of Winthrop. He's sweet, and cute.  :)  Definitely not sad he was on fore deck.

Honestly? With the beautiful lakefront paths, the boating opportunities, the wonderful parks, free concerts, restaurants and museums....fantastic architecture? You just can't beat Chicago. I may hate the suburban life, IL politics, construction, humidity, and too many other things to start a list here, but I do NOT hate Chicago. Chicago is a treasure. No matter what other cities I've been to, no matter how much I love NM, and even though ABQ and Santa Fe are decent for quick city fixes...second city nothing.

It sparkles. And what could be wrong with that? :) Especially for a magpie like myself.

Each time I roam, Chicago is...calling me home...Chicago is....

One town that won't let you's MY kind of town.

1 comment:

Joey B. said...

Fantastic photos! I miss that city. :(