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Archive for December 20th, 2005

Chicago! Aaaahhhh….

Tuesday, December 20th, 2005

I went to Chicago to see my friend, Iris C., on Monday. I loved it!

ChicagoChicago is such a friendly, midwestern place… all the benefits of a corner of the world that is home to me, all the benefits of a place with amazing architecture, food, art. You can turn to someone in line behind you (I did this yesterday) at the Post Office in Chicago, and have a nice talk with which to while away the time. Yesterday it was a woman originally from Africa, who struck up a chat with me because I was knitting in line. I heard Africa in her voice… it was a warm and enjoyable chat we had before I left.

Iris and I went to my favorite place, perhaps in the world… Devon Avenue, where the Indian and Pakistani restaurants, groceries, jewelers and sari houses are. We had dinner at Udupi Palace (I have a picture of Sara, my Goddaughter, on an archive page of this blog, eating dinner at this very restaurant in August 2004).

ChicagoIt was wonderful. We talked and talked, and they kept bringing us tea to sip as we chatted. Then I went across the street to two Indian groceries… came home with dried split yellow peas, uttapam mix (a dinner fritter/pancake of lentil flour and semolina/wheat, hearty and filling) and coconut milk. If we had gone there earlier in the day, we would have surely checked out the current fashions in the sari houses, but it was too late when we finished eating.

This trip was not a glamour/shopping trip, it was a visit-a-friend trip. We had planned to meet up last week but she got the flu. So we delayed a week, which means I got there in time to drive her to an eye appointment, then we went to the post office, dinner, and then back to chat at her house for a while.

ChicagoI did allow myself the luxury of almost a half hour driving around downtown in the dark, on the way home. But this trip was about relationship, the connecting again with someone once very important in my life. It wasn’t about shopping or art museums or any of the other adventures that can be found in the Windy City.

I took a bunch of photos, every time I found myself sitting at a stoplight on the way home, in downtown. Even with the car sitting still, I got some blurs because I had the camera on “night” setting, which gives a long exposure. I think the blur actually gives a realistic effect, that of driving down a street filled with lights.

ChicagoI did go past the Marshall Fields windows, and saw couples walking down the street arm in arm looking in the fancy, holiday-decorated windows. Also at the same time, on the same block, I saw people bundled against the frigid wind chills… young people making cell phone calls as they walked briskly down the street, ordinary people walking through their city. My city is so small and nobody seems to live downtown… it’s just wonderful to see a city so alive, that people are walking the streets of downtown even in the cold, at 10:30pm.

ChicagoThe Carson Pirie Scott (local landmark department store) building had construction scaffolds around it, so I could not see any windows to speak of. The Marshall Fields windows did not disappoint, but my one photo came out such a blur it doesn’t really even look like a store window, just lights streaming by.

I took some photos on Lakeshore Drive, some on Michigan Avenue, one (the third one) on Rush Street, one or two on State street. The second shot shows the logo for Lord and Taylor, can you see it? I hope you enjoy the cityscape I’ve provided (in the warmth of your home, no less).