So I was driving down Lakeshore the other day, which is something I hardly ever do, as I live quite far away. I’m not from around here, and the farthest I go into the city on a regular basis is our campus. But anyway, I’m driving down Lakeshore in rush hour, on the way to a friends’ place on the north side, and I found myself so enraptured. It sort of feels dorky, you know, to be to taken by something most take for granted, something I should be over by now, be exposed to enough. And maybe it was the weather; it was windy, cloudy, but the air was clear and it was dusk, and the waves of Lake Michigan crashed against each other and spat up onto the shoreline as I drove along. It seemed so Chicago, to have that kind of not great but not horrid weather. I found myself taking pictures. I thought about how the people in the cars around me would be pissed, how I could rear-end someone, how I looked so obviously tourist-y. Oh well.
When I got to my friend’s house I told her about the drive, how the lake was so menacing, and how I love getting to the shore. She said she drives Lakeshore everyday, and she often sees people taking pictures, and she thinks how lucky she is, to be able to see those scenes everyday. And I was thinking, indeed, we’re all so lucky, even me, for being in proximity to this, even if I don’t take advantage of it enough. Last May I was sharing summer plans with some fellow instructors, and one instructor said her plan was to, “be a tourist in her own city.” I thought that sounded amazing. Unfortunately for me, I worked all summer so being a tourist wasn’t exactly high on my list of priorities. However, now I think it should be. Chicago: what a great place to explore. Maybe I’ll start at the shore and work my way in. Maybe I’ll start now.