Life Downtown

Some notes from our life downtown… (we’ve been here six months, now)

  • We can walk to six different grocery stores: Jewel, two Treasure Islands, Whole Foods, Potash Market, Plum Market, & another Jewel is opening soon, two blocks away.
  • Odo loves the city. People drop food EVERYWHERE. He’s even figured out how to pee on concrete, although once Adam has to dissuade him from trying it in the middle of a crosswalk.
  • We can take public transportation all over the place – we regularly use the 22, 36, 136, and 151 buses. We have Red Line and Brown Line stops two and four blocks away.
  • We regularly walk to: dry cleaners, grocery store, restaurants, movie theater, and a UPS store. I regularly walk to yoga, a massage therapist, the farmers’ market, the park, and the lake front. I walked to vote.img_5155
  • Often, we find ourselves too lazy to go somewhere if we have to drive.
  • At the end of our block, I can turn east and glimpse the lake, down the street.
  • The old Playboy mansion is around the corner, but no longer owned by Hugh Hefner.img_4229
  • Homeless men regularly spend the night in the park down the street, on benches or under trees, in the warmer months. One continued to do so, even into November. He would be wrapped in blankets and what looked like a mattress pad, completely covered. Sometimes an umbrella is wedged open over his head. Once, I walked by him under an underpass, and he had a shopping cart of belongings nearby, including a small microwave and a cutting board. A big bottle of his urine stood guard nearby, too.img_4312
  • Someone regularly tosses empty Modelo beer cans around our alley. (Always Modelo.)
  • In our neighborhood is an interesting mishmash of wealthy, poor, and middle class. Sometimes, it’s hard to know who’s who.
  • Sounds we hear regularly: the church carillon bells, organ rehearsal, sirens, dolly wheels being pushed or pulled through the church courtyard, people talking or yelling in the street, children’s voices as they go home from preschool, the wind off the lake. Once this summer, a young couple sat on the church steps, loudly declaring their love and laughing, at 3AM. This was not very romantic for those of us who live upstairs.img_2967
  • Our apartment (part of the church building) is laid out along a hallway that runs its length, but with an elbow in the middle so you can’t see all the way down for privacy. There are hardwood floors, a gas fireplace, big windows, and lots of closets.
  • The furniture from our Bolingbrook house doesn’t seem quite right to me here. Everything is unpacked, but we’re not really nested yet. After having our bedroom in one spot, we switched it with our guest room last weekend. It might take a year or two more to really make it feel like our home. The church property committee has been very gracious to work with us on a few fix-it projects and looking ahead with us to other updates.
  • Some of our windows are odd, old-fashioned shapes and don’t have screens. Much to Adam’s surprise, when we have opened them on nice days, the cats do not jump to their deaths.
  • It’s wonderfully convenient to live above my office and the church. So far, I don’t notice any tricky boundaries or feel I can’t get away. We have a lot of privacy and can easily get lost in the city when we need to.
  • We are very grateful to have a spot in an underground parking lot this winter!


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