..my intense love for Chicago.
About half of these locations were frequent haunts for me. The 6th is Promontory Point, where we went swimming in the summers, although technically, you weren’t supposed to swim on the rocky side, only on the beach further south. Sometimes the police would drive through the park and harass people to get out of the water, but then they’d just leave and we’d all get back in.
I interviewed Chicago-based Canasta in the summer of 2009 — or rather, the violinist. I was separated from the city that summer and in preparing for the interview I listened to this album several times. This song really hit home with me. “This town, it breathes on its own/with or without me/the skyline wakes up whether or not I get out of bed.”
That’s the thing about Chicago, or any big city, really — when you wake up it’s already up, and when you go to bed it’ll stay up past you. Other things I miss: rickety old three-story apartment buildings with worn wooden floors, occasional bay windows, and loud radiators; free but crappy wifi everywhere (no wait, I don’t miss this, I just remember it); runners along the lakeshore; Devon Avenue, Chinatown, and Greektown; the sound of el trains rushing past.
I love cities, but Chicago has such significance for me: it lays claim to so many of my experiences. It truly feels like more of my hometown than my actual hometown, where I spent my first 18 years.
I miss you, crazy old speakeasy city. I’ll see you soon.