Paying Homage

It’s just a matter of days now…. It’s a bit odd – we’ve known about this move for a while now. We’ve certainly been preparing for it for months. And now we are doing all the things necessary – selling items, making arrangements, saying goodbyes. I don’t think it will really set in until we are on an airplane or sitting in an empty apartment in NYC. Almost eight years were spent in The Windy City and yet in many ways, it doesn’t seem that long at all.

I’ve had many friends leave Chicago – former co-workers getting laid off from dot-coms, individuals getting married and moving to the suburbs to have kids, people going back home to the states they grew up in, friends going back to grad school. We’ve stayed through all these changes, however. And now comes time for a change of our own.

It’s been a great city, a great place to live. It’s very “livable” and not just because the rent is relatively cheap compared to NYC or SF. The traffic’s bad but not THAT bad. It’s easy to find your way around because of the way the city’s laid out. People, for the most part, are down-to-earth and friendly. I could go on and on about the other “favorite things” I will miss (and how come they’re mostly food-related?) – the deep dish pizza at My Pie, the awesome goodness of the mild curry chicken and crispy crab ravioli at Ecce Cafe, and of course, the tapas at Cafe Babareeba (don’t thumb your noses at me, Cafe Iberico lovers).

I’ll miss the proximity of Lincoln Park (the park, not the ‘hood) and the Lakefront. Those walks by the Lake, or through the Lincoln Park Zoo and by the Conservatory provided refuge from the noises and stresses of the city. I’ll miss the idiocy of the WGN Morning News team, the times I would pick up The Onion or The Reader to see what bands were coming to play, and the PBS show Check Please! to get good local restaurant recommendations.

I’ll miss the way the city gets dressed up for the holidays, the way Mayor Daley (for the most part) seems to keep the city clean, and the various neighborhood festivals that make summers in Chicago so much fun. I’ll miss the shopping on State Street and on Michigan Avenue, the newness of Millenium Park and of things to come, the Chicago skyline via Lake Shore Drive, and the quick commute to work/school via the CTA.

And of course, I’ll miss simply walking around the ‘hood and (was it Sesame Street that had this song?) – the “people in your neighborhood”: the guy cutting my hair for years, the doormen and maintenance guys in our building, the waitstaff at the various restaurants we go to on Broadway.

And I’ll miss the people that have been a part of my life in some form or another, whether they be co-workers, former co-workers, classmates, friends, etc. It’s been a good run, Chicago, and you’ve given us lots of good memories and connections. Hopefully we’ve given a little something back too. If I wasn’t going to miss these things, then it meant I didn’t like it here and that’s not the case at all.

I am looking forward to the next step and I have no doubt the new ‘hood will have its own set of memories and connections to offer. But I am glad to have been part of Chicago and for that I thank you.


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