In 2005 this blog began with the subtitle, ‘The life and times of a former New Yorker living in downtown Chicago.’ I’ve almost left downtown twice since then. At the end of this month, I finally will. I’m heading to Edgewater–and realizing more than just my address is moving on.
I am officially a big, fat hypocrite. A big, fat hypocrite who’s moving back home…to Marina City.
Two months ago I moved out of Marina City to head for a quieter life beyond downtown. But there’s something to be said for living at the center of it all. I’m learning the grass isn’t any greener outside the Loop–and the roaches sure do put up a fight.
I am no longer a resident of Marina City. At the verge of 40, my life goals when I moved downtown five years ago just don’t match up with who I want to be in the next chapter of my life. So I’ve given up my high-rise home in order to get my feet back on the ground. In every way possible.
This week, it was tongue-in-cheek that I wrote about Marina City covering over its emergency evacuation posters with laundry room memos. The same night I wrote that, a fire broke out on the 29th floor of a neighboring residential high-rise on Wabash Avenue. Then last night, a major fire in a condo tower in Streeterville killed one resident and injured 12 other people.
Monday morning now marks eight consecutive days that management here at the Marina City corncobs has covered the legally required high-rise emergency evacuation maps in the complex’s East Tower with a cute-polar-bear-emblazoned laundry room memo.
It’s one thing to watch the Sears Tower disappear into the murky whiteness from below. It’s quite another to stand atop one of Marina City’s twin, 61st-floor open-air roofdecks and try and make out the Chicago Loop from inside an aerial fog bank, itself.
People say the strangest things to me in downtown Chicago. This past weekend was a trifecta. Sunday afternoon I ran into Marina City’s own Vincent Falk, aka the colorful, tour-boat-waving Riverace (rhymes with Liberace), standing together with Marina City Online scribe Steve Dahlman mid-span on the State Street Bridge.
Pastry Chef Chris would call to sniff at me later in the day, in between bouts of coughing. My old beau’s new beau spent the weekend in the hospital with a high fever. The test results arrived back yesterday afternoon. ‘Yep,’ Chris said. ‘He’s got swine flu.’
Steven Dahlman is a professional pain in the ass. It’s a skill that serves him well as the scribe of Marina City Online, the de facto community news site of downtown Chicago’s famous twin condo towers.