Seven Things I Don’t Typically See At Home

By August 11, 2008 culture No Comments

Home for me is central Illinois—I live just a bit more than two hours south of downtown Chicago. But what a difference those 135 miles can make! Sometimes the contrasts are so stark they give my brain (and heart) a good jolt.

We returned yesterday from a quick weekend there, and I am glad to be back to my bubble where I can process and think away from the hubbub! As much as I love the city, it’s not the best place, long term, for an introvert. If I had to live there, I would need a quiet corner to block out the world or else I would get completely sapped of all functionality! But in small doses, I love it.

So for a short weekend trip, it was fabulous! There was much to be seen—here are a few things that made a lasting impression:

1) Pockets of people traipsing about in capes and hats, with magic wands and stripped socks. [Thanks to the Harry Potter convention Terminus.]

2) Hundreds of people, of every age and race, salsa dancing together in the park. [Hosted by Chicago’s Summer Dance program. Here’s a clip from one of last year’s events. So fun!]

3) Forward-facing dog carriers (envision a seat or platform about 12 inches square) that strap to the chest to give your tiny pooch the best vantage on your walk. [Absolutely hysterical on first sight!]

4) Gloriously colored, silk- and bead-laden dresses at a decadent Indian wedding reception. [This is, in my opinion, the epitome of feminine dressing: silk, beads, stitching, yards of luxurious fabric . . . so lovely!]

5) Homeless people camped out on every street corner. [Breaks my heart and yet paralyzes me because I don’t know what to do to really help. Dropping some coins seems so shallow, yet I would rather do something than nothing . . . ]

6) Hundreds of exuberant women walking for breast cancer awareness at the Breast Cancer 3-Day event. [Such events are for a wonderful cause and are typically carried out with class . . . but many in this crowd had shirts, banners, and accessories that were tacky. That part just seemed so unnecessary. Maybe the 60-mile hike made them a bit punchy?]

7) Dirty Dancing is now a musical. [OK, so I didn’t see the musical—it opens in September—but I did see the bus boards advertising it.]

And that’s just a glimpse of all that Chicago has to offer!

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