I write to you from the heart of Chicago. My break this week was not planned, but was much needed.
On Saturday last, I drove my two children across the mountains of North Carolina, through the rolling hills of Tennessee, nine and a half hours to Nashville--or the little suburb where my parents and in-laws live, Brentwood. We spent two days at my in-laws and then I took off for the Windy City, where I am helping my sister find a place to live. Lucky girl gets to live in this vibrant place while she attends Northwestern University law school.
So, for the past four days, I've been roaming the concrete, staring at historic buildings refurbished as modern commerce, and seeing what kind of view you can get for as little as possible.
I love cities. I love the feel of buildings soaring above me, architecture beckoning me to guess its era, and people--endless streams of colorful people! I fell in love with Boston in two days, dream about New York ever since visiting, and could wonder Seattle for days. But Chicago? I've never considered Chicago. As it turns out, it is fantastic! Clean, crisp, Midwest-meets-East Coast.
And now...USA v. England!!! I am sitting in a fantastic restaurant watching the players warm up. I won't claim I follow the teams religiously. But USA v England!!! The USA is trying to repeat its 1950 World Cup win over the British. And what a time for South Africa! With all sympathy paid to Nelson Mandela and his family, the country is hopefully exultant at the attention they are receiving. Most of you know I played soccer for 14 years, including competitve teams and some college. (I just pissed off some non-soccer fans at the bar who wanted to watch something else. The city is getting in my blood! Go USA!) I saw the World Cup games in Dallas when they came to the US in '94. Now my friend tells me we're planning to go to Brazil in 2014...I'll start planning now!
We were also lucky enough to be here for Chicago winning the Stanley Cup. The city went wild! Every car was honking and every person on the street was yelling. People who had never met were joined by this event. Hard to deny the divisive and cohesive nature of sports.
Alright. I know it's a mishmash, but the city is The Great Conjunctive. So, here. Thank you for returning and understanding my absence.