Walking the streets of Chicago today, I am struck by contrasts, obvious and not so obvious, between a living space shared by millions of people and a living space shared by millions of birds and squirrels with a few humans there on sufferance.
Hence my homage to Chicago (and it is an homage to Chicago, make no mistake):
1. Heard on the street – young man to young woman: Let’s go to the Feminist Bookstore. Two points: Yes, Chicago has a feminist bookstore (Chicagoans will be bemused that I point out the obvious while those from whence I come will likely wonder just what a feminist bookstore is or how it differs from other bookstores. Not to say we’re not savvy folk – but we don’t run into much feminist anything in my neck of the woods).
2. Contractors drink tea, not soda or coffee, and at least one of them recently saw The Book of Mormon. I don’t know if he knows a thing about hunting or farming or the changing of the seasons or when the finches turn yellow or when lambing season comes, but Mike knows a thing or two about theater.
There are restaurants. Lots of them. Really good ones. With lots of choices. Did I mention that there are restaurants? So Anita, my hostess on this journey, says to me: do you want to go to a play tomorrow night? I, of course, am thrilled. Then comes the bonus question: Where do you want to eat? Anita, knowing how happy I am just to see these many choices in dining possibilities, told her friend who suggested the theater that the only condition is that I get to choose the restaurant because I so seldom get to. Last night, it was Vietnamese Pho (like the rube I am, I thought it was ‘fo’, but Anita kindly corrected me) – a lovely simple soup from the restaurant (how many times can I use the word ‘restaurant’ in this paragraph, I wonder?). Tomorrow night we (at my choosing) will enjoy some Spanish Tapas. I knew I was forgetting something – did I mention that we began our day at Svea* (a Swedish restaurant) with Swedish pancakes (and yes, with lingonberries, for those of you in the know on such things) and yes, I also had a side of potato pancakes (don’t panic, I brought much of it home) with applesauce and sour cream. Hard to know how, but we’ll try to top that tomorrow morning at the Jewish Deli with blintzes (and perhaps some latkes). If this keeps up, I'll be bringing the Chicago pizza home in my purse. Wonder what Homeland Security rules are on the importation of food from Chicago to the western Highlands of Virginia?
I am one happy girl. If I had a cardiologist, she’d be weeping right about now. Lucky for me, I don’t have one.
*"Lingonberry. Pancakes. Go. Now. (Or at least go before their strange and interesting closing time of 2:45pm.)" Yelp