Citizens of every city complain about something. In Chicago it’s weather. In Los Angeles it’s traffic. In my NYC hometown it’s…everything?
If you really want to hate Robert Moses, try explaining to your partner the maddening muddle that is the New York metropolitan area’s regional roadway system.
Waking up on 9/11 and not realizing it’s 9/11 is a joyful thing. It’s worth remarking on–and holding onto.
On May 21st, I was blessed with the unexpected opportunity to be interviewed by the nonprofit oral-history project, StoryCorps. I visited their mobile recording studio, temporarily parked in Pilsen…and told my 9/11 story for the national September 11th Initiative. From StoryCorps, here is my recorded remembrance of the day that changed my life and, ultimately, brought me to Chicago.
The last age I took so hard was 25. Back then, launching into the latter half of my twenties without having achieved richness or thinness had me feeling like a big loser. Luckily, my self-confidence has improved since then. Now launching into my final 365 days before middle age without yet having achieved richness or thinness just has me feeling old.
Today, with the world again awash in retrospect, I usually prefer to be blogging about about courtesy, or kittens, or one of any number of safer, happier, topics. Seven years on and I had originally thought not to mark the occasion again. At some point, we just have to emotionally let go inside, or we destroy ourselves. In the end, while I feel no need to make a pilgrimage to a dusty construction site in Lower Manhattan, I still feel a need for words.
Last month, I accepted the job offer of my life in New York City. Today, I turned it down. At long last, I admit it. I am hopelessly in love with Chicago. I’m staying right here.
I don’t remember being here, yet nothing ever changes here. I’ve spent almost four weeks staying with friends in New York City; it’s almost as if I’ve already moved and settled in. So much has changed in the four-and-a-half years that I’ve been away. Funky neighborhoods have become Establishment while former slums have become exclusive. It’s hard to realize that this is my home.
I turned 37 this month in my hometown. And while August continues to merge into seemingly one exceptionally and unexpectedly long trip to Gotham to interview and apartment hunt, it was turning 37 that I found most informative. Purely for narcissistic reasons. Essentially I was smoked.
Before I left NYC in 2003, I knew the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to be somewhat less than a class act. I’m surprised at how short my memory has become during my tenure on the shores of Lake Michigan. Here’s the story of the worst interview I’ve had–or haven’t had–in years.