Here’s something that doesn’t happen everyday (Luckily, for most): There was a shooting a block from my office in River North this afternoon.
I didn’t witness it, but a few co-workers heard several shots, and then saw shots being fired into the back of a Crown Victoria.
Allegedly (I learned to say this in the college class I took about TV police dramas), the police picked up a “an aggressive panhandler” who opened fire on two police officers. The officers fired back, fatally wounding the person. The police officers were not seriously injured.
Co-workers who saw it go down were asked to provide police statements. They looked visibily shaken up. Streets near the incident were closed when I left work hours later.
This kind of thing doesn’t happen all the time in River North. It’s fairly safe. But sadly, there are sounds of gunshots in Chicago and places all over the world every day. People only seem to take notice when it happens in your own corner of the world, far from that Chicago Code TV show. That part is sobering.
That reminds me of our old apartment. There was an incident of bullet holes in the storefront next door, and a mysterious blood trail running up and down the street. It wasn’t then until we really noticed.
The first snow of the season fell this morning. It’s a whopping 26 degrees outside right now. Sleeping bags coats are out, hats and gloves abound, and puddles have morphed into ice.
It’s official: it feels like winter. Pretty soon, we’ll be asking ourselves “why do we live here?” as we trudge though a foot of snow.
So, I’m starting a new project “Reasons We Live in Chicago,” to remind myself (and others) in the snowy, subzero months ahead why Chicago is a great place to live. I know it will be hard to remember.
Reasons We Live in Chicago #1: The views
When I worked in the Loop, I took the skyline’s eye candy for granted. Most daily commutes, my nose would stay in a book until I arrived at my bus stop. Then, I was surrounded by never-ending skyscrapers I could barely see.
Now, I travel daily to River North, stopping just short of the skyscrapers. It’s because of the short amount of distance I can truly appreciate the view. I was caught quite off guard the other night when I had to walk a few blocks east to Michigan Ave. I’m a daring woman to shop there this time of year.
One more for the road. This was from last summer when Leese and Jo visited, and I made them go on the Architectural Boat Tour with me.
Oh, Halloween. The pumpkins, crisp leaves, crisp air and the chance to be someone else for a day. It’s my favorite fake holiday.
But after Halloween, it’s the day after Halloween. Just like the day after Christmas, the built-up excitement evaporates, and apparently, all that’s left is a lot of trash.
Orange boa in River North. Slutty pumpkin, perhaps?
Harry Potter or a witch left his or her broomstick in a cab.
Miss America lost her gloves.
The Devil went down to Wicker Park. And forgot his pitchfork.
Plan ahead for next year and snag this fairy costume at Damen and Division.
I just returned from the sun and sand.
But before I left, I couldn’t help but think there has been a strange sense of normalcy in the air lately. I’ve been confused by the lack of creepy pandas, 80s mannequins, naked mannequins or dueling Elvi around the neighborhood lately.
The sight of this stopped me in my tracks a few weeks ago:
Is this your CD collection spilled on the sidewalk of Chicago and Franklin?
Let’s make up some hypotheses about how these CDs got there, shall we?
- A jilted lover seeks revenge on her music-loving boyfriend by tossing his music collection to the street.
- A belly dancer loses her performance set, running late for a show (the only legible CD said “Belly Dance Songs,” after all)
- A teenager, desperate for a new CD collection, tosses his current rotation on the street, claiming it was “stolen.”
Cast your vote. While none of these hypotheses are exciting, I still am curious as to how they got there.