The weather in Chicago has been on the cool side, with enough of a breeze to make walking a pleasure, and to put me in the mood to contemplate the passage of more than 30 years. One of the purposes of this trip is to find out if reality matches my memories of a time and place long ago. It’s been a difficult process to remember the naive and confused young man I was in my early 20s, and to find traces of him in the middle-aged, and more cynical, person I’ve become. Another question I’m trying to answer is just how living in China has changed me. As you might expect, it’s a journey fraught with emotional baggage.
On another note, it’s been an exercise in photography and food. Some highlights of my sentimental trip so far:
I’m staying at the Chicago Getaway Hostel on Arlington, on the near north side near Lincoln Park. It’s quite comfy, although I’m in a dorm room with 12 people.
I’m within walking distance of my old stomping grounds, near Belmont and Broadway. It’s officially called Lakeview East, although it’s also known as Boystown, since the area is the city’s gay enclave.
My old apartment building, 540 West Briar Place, where I lived after graduating from college in 1978. My first apartment was on the 8th floor. If I remember correctly, if you stood on the edge of the bathtub, looked out the small bathroom window, and then twisted your neck, you could just see Lake Michigan.
Another sentimental journey: Ann Sather, “Just good food.” The Swedish restaurant was a staple of the old neighborhood, next to the Belmont el station, although today it’s been completely remodeled.
Ann Sather, dining room
The Chicago skyline from Diversey Harbor.
Next installment: more food fun, and lots of walking.