To the extremes

Last week, I was brave enough to venture to the Borders on Michigan Avenue to pick up a book I needed for work. It the middle of the day in the middle of the week, so the tourist traffic waned.

Along the way, I was taken off guard by the Gold Coast’s architectural extremes.

Something about the juxtaposition of the sleek, contemporary high-rise building flanking the curvy gothic-style cathedral struck me with a realization that the city is filled with extremes. Perhaps, more often, contradictions. Like that Bentley dealer across the street from the church. I guess that should be a contradiction.

Extremes I’ve noticed around the city:

Skyscrapers and sprawling meadows

Cubs/White Sox

Summer flora in fall

Destruction for construction

Blustering cold vs. blistering hot

Affluent and broke, city and beach, saints and crooks…the list continues.

I can only rationalize that the city’s dichotomies exist at times to naturally balance itself out—for better or for worse. In many cases, I wish they didn’t. But they do because not everything, everyone can be the same. At least, that’s the only way I can make sense of why anything happens these days. I feel like I’ve had experiences on each end of the spectrum and everywhere in between the past month. It’s like six months have been compacted into one.

Life, death, joy, sadness, laughter, tears, excitement, disappointment, accomplishment, failure, truth, lies, comfort, stress, new faces, familiar friends, manic, static…yet somehow it balances out.

In this city of extremes, I guess I feel right at home.

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2 Comments

Filed under Chicago, city life, neighborhoods, winter

2 responses to “To the extremes

  1. I will happily read your writings on the great windy city as I’ve seldom been there and it honestly scares the heck out of this central WI. boy….

  2. Interesting post. I never thought of Chicago that way.

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