I have been doing far less exploring of Chicago than I had intended. Wednesday I went to scope out Internet Cafe’s in my neighborhood. I found a nice place on Clark Street where I was the only customer. There was a pretty little garden with a fountain in the back. I had a sandwich and a go at the Chicago Reader, which is a truly magnificent publication.
Afterward, I thought that I was darned near a high school friend whose number I had failed to pull from my archives. Okay, well, let us explore. I found her house and wrote her a letter, not expecting her to be home so early in the afternoon. The letter told of what had happened since I got layed off last year, and I sealed it in the envelope that came with one of the cool Chinese-motif cards that I had in the pocket of my jacket. I couldn’t find any great place to leave the letter, so I rang the bell, figuring an elder family member might be around to receive it.
The friend in question was home. I coaxed her out for a walk, where we got to check out the Loyola campus. The weather was beautiful and my camera’s battery went kaput just as I tried to capture the beauty of Lake Michigan on a clear day. We rounded around back towards Sheridan, where we stopped at a nice, unwired cafe, which I totally dug. I had a meaty sandwich, chips, and a cookie for about $5, then dropped another $2 on a smoothy, while my friend went for some ice cream. A nice place to talk.
I walked home from there. Back on Clark I encountered a Chicano vendor offerig sweet corn on a stick to patrons at a Latin social organization. I grabbed one myself for $1.25, and as he slathered it with mayonnaise, butter, hot sauce, salt, I was reminded of home. Home in California. I thought it interesting that in my Home in Chicago a Mexican vendor should remind me of Home in California. I guess three years at 3,000 miles is sufficient for a touch of diaspora.
I lost my notes here, but this is a church at Pratt and Clark in Chicago, with this wonderful statue of Jesus on the battlefield, erected to commemorate those who struggled in World War I.
Lake Michigan, as seen from Loyola campus, looking south. Chicago, IL.