Summer in the City

Summer is officially here. And it’s beautiful.

On Saturday night we had the loveliest little barbeque party on the
deck, grilling halibut steaks and chicken and asparagus with several friends who came over and I made homemade
strawberry daiquiris with plenty of rum and a bunch of strawberries that Greg’s mom
brought us and it just felt like the perfect summer night, a warm breeze coming off the river and all of us laughing, laughing.

Greg and I sat out on the deck last night until almost 9pm, just looking at the river and the trees around us, the darkening night sky and we talked and talked until it felt late and I could no longer see the newspaper I’d been reading beside me at my feet. We talked about how lucky we feel and how grateful we are for how good our lives are right now. We talked about being 30 and what the next 30 years will bring, how long and lustrous that seems.

I tipped my head back and looked up at the night sky, thinking about the last ten months and my life here in Chicago. I thought about all the things I would be doing were I still in LA and it was hard to imagine, this life here seeping quietly into my existence, that one slowly washing out like the ocean at low tide.

On Saturday I went for a long walk around the city by myself. I started out at the Green City Farmer’s Market.Farmers_market1
I’m doing a series of summer articles on the market for Ideal Bite and it seems that I find myself there almost every Saturday, taking photos and talking to vendors. It’s wonderful though, all these incredible local farmers and abundant produce. Every weekend I walk from stand to stand simply admiring the beautiful fruits and vegetables.

On Saturday after I’d taken the photos I needed to take and talked to the people I needed to talk to I set out walking across Lincoln Park towards the beach. It was the most perfect morning, warm with a light breeze, the sky impossibly blue and the city plangent around me. I was reminded of my first summer in New York and the way the city just settled itself into me, the buildings and rushing cars, the parks and the lush green trees all becoming a landscape as familiar to me as any place I’d ever lived.

I suddenly realized how nice it was to be alone, just walking through the park, no agenda for the day, no one and nothing to worry about. I walked for a while watching the joggers and couples strolling by holding hands, catching glimpses of downtown in swatches through the trees. I walked to the beach, crossing over Lakeshore Dr. and the cars speeding by underneath, passed over the bikepath and the streaming line of joggers and bikers, and made my way all the way out across the sand to the lip of lake where I stood for a while looking back at the city behind me.

I realized then that, perhaps for the first time, Chicago was beginning to feel like my city. Not just a place I’m trying on or visiting for a while but rather, the place where I live, the place I call home, and the place where my heart resides.Beach



  • Posted June 16, 2008 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    this is such a nice post. it really captures chicago in the summer. i moved here from elsewhere too and it took me a long time to feel like chicago was mine. it’s such a nice feeling now that it does. we were passing through ravenswood manor this weekend and i said to my husband ‘there is a woman whose blog i read who lives around here and has a deck overlooking the river. sounds heavenly, doesn’t it?’ and he agreed. it’s nice to read that you guys get so much joy out of it. 🙂

  • Emilie
    Posted June 16, 2008 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    I remember about four years ago, jotting some similar sentiments down in a little notebook, sitting probably about where you were sitting and facing south toward the city on a bright early fall day. I had just graduated and was living in my first apartment in the city, with a close friend, and even though I didn’t have a job yet, I felt positively blissful about my life. I biked out to the edge of the lake one afternoon, stopped and sat there, facing south and looking at the city…my city. I call Chicago the city love of my life because on days like that, it’s so easy to fall head over heels. The trick is to remember that feeling on the days when it’s cold and gray and you want to flee. The feeling always manages to return.

  • Posted June 17, 2008 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the nice comments, girls!
    Emilie, you’re sooo right. I find myself constantly counting the months until the cold weather is here again, dreading it so much and trying to figure out how long I can enjoy the summer for. But you’re right. I just need to move bravely forward and remember these moments of warmth and light.
    And thanks, Tina! The deck is truly heavenly.

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