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You Can Go Home Again: The 10th Anniversary of CHICAGO CARLESS

candle 10

When I hunkered down on the carpet of my long-former Marina City high-rise home in June 2015 to come up with a name for my new blog, I never though CHICAGO CARLESS would be forever. As of last weekend, though, my little patch of the Internet has been around for ten years. So happy decade-versary to me!

That’s a long time, and it’s amazing to me to think how much has changed in my life since June 2005. Back then, I was a Chicagoan of barely two years, still missing my eight previous years of life in Brooklyn, just out of a career in urban planning, just into a major relationship, and a skyscraper-dweller for the first time in my life. You could have knocked me over with a feather if you told me that ten years later I’d be long gone from said high rise, in my fifth year of a lifelong relationship, still in Chicago, leaving urban planning for the second time, a convert to Judaism, and reunited with my family again.

But it all came to be. Last year, I wasn’t happy about still being a Windy Citizen as Ryan and I made plans to move to Los Angeles. This year, after the life-changing, wholly holy experience of becoming part of my birth family again after 20 years, life–in Chicago and in general–isn’t so fraught anymore. The life plan still aims at Queens to be with my family. But knowing them again after so long makes life much sweeter wherever I may be. That has been the high point of the past year–the past 20 years, in fact. I wished to know the family of the father I never head for a long, long time. In the end, I got back the family I always had, instead. What more can I say?

Except shouting about, at long last, becoming a Mac user again.

So enough complaining. The past 12 months have been about remembering who I am, and who I’ve always been–and finding out that I’m happier in my own skin than I’ve ever been in my life. I hope my next year of life and of this blog brings as much joy as this one did. May it be so.

Thank you for coming along on my journey with me. Where should we head next?


Browse my previous anniversary posts:

(More than) My First Year “Carless”
“Today marks the start of my second year blogging about life as a determined non-driver living in downtown Chicago. Beginning my blog and moving to Marina City both coincided in June 2005. Back then, I thought I could get Marina City out of the way in my first post and go on to writing about downtown life in general. Little did I know that the unique trials and tribulations of Marina City residency would motivate me to write so often about the historic corncob towers…”

No Exit: Two Years of CHICAGO CARLESS
“Part of the fun were the numerous local gaffes and gotchas that I managed to find myself in the middle of last year, including my August 2006 interview in Chicago Magazine’s expose of Marina City’s alleged pimp dentist, Garry Kimmel, and my scooping of Chicagoland media on erroneous signage inside the new Macy’s-cum-Marshall Field’s (earning me page one in the Chicago Tribune business section and being called a “newsmaker of the week” in the Trib’s Sunday edition)….”

Third Time’s the Charm
“God knows I’ve chronicled a lot of changes over the past year and a bit on the blog. Last spring, as I continued my second career as a communications consultant, many old, dear friends came back into my life from what has now become the Gay and Lesbian Youth of New York Almuni Group (GLYNY AGAIN). That made me want to move back to New York City, and even after my tumultuous breakup with the now NYC-based urban photoblogger, Devyn, I nearly did….”

Happy Birthday to Me: Four Years of CHICAGO CARLESS
“Safely remaining a Chicagoan, I performed my first celebrity interview, fell head-over-heels for Cincinnati, braved a tornado warning for the hot wings of doom, told the newspaper industry why it was dying, waded back into the downtown noise controversy, scored a coveted golden ticket for the Obama election night rally, and made it into the Sun-Times after the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless began to monitor the Chicago Transit Authority based on my blog coverage of the CTA’s mean-spirited winter homeless harassment policy…”

Happy Anniversary: Five Years of CHICAGO CARLESS
“Since 2005, the blog and I have covered a lot of ground together. The act of reflecting on my life in this city and writing about it on a regular basis helped me figure out why I moved to Chicago, how much I love the place, and what I think could stand improvement here. It has also helped me understand my strengths (like discovering how well I write) and weaknesses (not playing the Chicago game.) Most of all, it’s taught my friends their favorite phrase of the past five years: “This is off the record, right?…”

Life, the Universe, and Everything Jewish: Six Years of CHICAGO CARLESS
“You might think my big news today is that my blog, Chicago Carless, is six years old. It is, but the buried lede is that tomorrow (or today, by the time you read this) is my forty-first birthday. I did an uncharacteristic thing during my fortieth year: I completed a task I set out to complete before my next birthday. That task was joining the Jewish people–and, boy, were people who know me well blown away that I went through with it. Now that I’ve been officially Jewish for three months, the previous 41 years seem a bit different than they used to. Now I know they were all leading up to the discovery of my Jewish soul….”

98 and 3/4 Percent Guaranteed: Seven Years of CHICAGO CARLESS
“Lately, I’ve done a lot of thinking about where I want to be at the end of the next seven years. I’m sure the person I am today will seem as on-the-journey-but-not-yet-there to Michael Doyle v. 2019 as Michael Doyle v. 2005 seems to me now. Hopefully that seven-years-from-now sentiment will be meant in a good way. And if I have my druthers–and that’s a big if–maybe, just maybe, that sentiment will be felt by a newly minted Rabbi Doyle.”

figure eight jewish cakeCatching Up on Jasmine Davila: Eight Years of CHICAGO CARLESS
“One of the few folks I know who has been able to carry it off–and much more consistently than I have–is Chicago blogger diva Jasmine Davila, who has lived decidedly out front online for over a decade at this point. I have always been in awe of her blogging longevity and consistency. (Regular readers may recall my wo-mance with Jasmine from our Vagina Dialogue and my profiles of her and her blog here and here.) So all I have to say is, Jasmine, I’m catching up on you. Neener, neener.”

“What a difference 12 months makes. After giving up on Chicago and all its self-imposed limitations and making deliberate, timeline-strategized plans to relocate to Southern California, this year I got the urban planning/regional development dream job that I thought I’d find when I first moved here in 2003. Shortly afterwards, Ryan got the dream lab operations manager job he’d wanted for years, too. Except we don’t necessarily still want to actually be here. Ah, life, you can be so lifey, sometimes.”

Categories: Backstory

Michael Thaddeus Doyle

I'm a NYC-native, Latino, Jew-by-choice, hardcore WDW fan in Chicago with an Irish last name. I believe in social justice, big cities, and public transit. I do nonprofit development. I've written this blog since 2005. Believe in the world you want to live in.

My Bio | My Conversion | My Family Reunion


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