Saturday, February 13, 2016


I spoke to my sister, Mary, today. She lives up west of Waukegan, where we were raised. But as a young woman she lived in Chicago, probably not too far from where I live now. I like the layout here very much. My one-bedroom apartment features a bay window in the living room. But those windows look out on a brick courtyard. Even on bright days, there just isn't much sunshine in the place. Or even outside of my apartment. I remarked that my apartment doesn't have a lot of light.

"The city," said my sister, "is dark." It is. Chicago's big shoulders cast long shadows.

This weekend, it's cold, too. Early this morning, I got a weather text about chill factor. It would be, I was informed, -20 degrees. Wear a hat! Wear gloves! OR DIE. (Well, no. But 30 minute exposures might well result in frostbite, said my app.)

On the one hand, it's all true. It was cold. Despite my amazing Russian hat (bought in Red Square, Moscow), my uber-warm long coat (a gift from Suzanne), my EYES were cold.

On the other hand, it was sunny. A blue sky, not much wind. And I found myself walking quite comfortably from old Union Station to my apartment near State and Division. It wasn't that bad.

Chicago, let me be perfectly clear, is a far harsher environment than Colorado. It just is, a result of this mid-continental climate. Colorado may be harsh for a morning or afternoon, even, VERY rarely, for a day. But 85% of the time, it's bright and balmy. Sub-zero temperatures are REALLY rare.

But Chicago as a built environment is remarkable. I found myself repeatedly beguiled today by its history and views. It is FAR more diverse than Colorado. I love the mix here of languages, skin tones, food choices, accents, and architecture.

So here are a few shots from the day.

high backed benches almost bare
at Union Station

[Note: in fact, Union Station pushes some 48,000 people a day through its doors. But the "melancholia" is more about remembering a time when "Union Station" meant both a strong endorsement of the Labor Movement, and a far more elegant mindset about transportation. Look at the SCALE of this building!]

Could we be any more orange?

A fascination with water and bridges.


Dunno if you can make it out, but the top of the center skyscraper frames just space.

I just like the lines and shadows.

And that's the view from my walkabout today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I always think of "Divergent" when I see photos of Chicago. It's the setting, albeit in a dystopian future, of the books and movie. Envision what changes might occur to these photos after catastrophe!
Bonnie McCune, author - Welcome

In November of 2018, I left my position at ALA in Chicago to return to my Colorado-based writing, speaking, and consulting career. So I'...