Balcony.

While up on a step ladder on our balcony I was able to snap a photo of this view. I bet the folks on the two floors above us have a beautiful view. I enjoy ours very much, but being able to see more of downtown was quite awesome. 

Prunella.

There are many reasons we moved to Chicago. Listening to young, straight, white females scream at the top of their lungs while walking through Boystown is not one of them. 

I don’t like the fact that the gay community is a tourist attraction for some. I find it insulting. We are not zoo animals. We are not to be observed in some natural habitat. Honestly, Boystown is not a natural habitat for me. I feel comfortable being gay anywhere, but I don’t feel comfortable when some young woman, looking like three pounds of sausage crammed into a one pound bag, screams “look at them kissing!”  She is referring to two young men outside of a bar on N Halstead.

As I walked by, tackily clad in Army boots, and doing my best Xena look of dissatisfaction, I said “simmer down, Prunella.”  I was prepared for argument. She stopped screaming. 

I went home. 

What’s odd is about 10 minutes earlier, a drunken man staggered into me, fumbling his way toward Belmont. I said to him, “easy there, Prunella”. 

Apparently everyone is Prunella tonight. 

Sale.

When I was in elementary school we sold candy bars. Maybe a pizza. All of this to raise money for a field trip to the zoo or something.

Our local elementary school is selling mattresses.

Walking.

One of the best things about our relocation to Chicago is the opportunity for walking. Back in Central New York I would walk up and down our semi-suburban/wanna-be country road for exercise. It was an exercise in flirting with danger as there was a McMansion park up the hill from us and people would often come barreling down the hill way above the posted speed limit. Many would be using their phones, some would be randomly placed in the vehicle and there was always one guy in a European luxury car shaving every morning. When you walk the same 1/2 mile in each direction up and down your road it gets quite boring. To go anywhere interesting involved planning, a vehicle and a drive of at least four hours. It was not a conducive scenario for a quick walk during working hours.


Here in Chicago I have many places to walk. Our neighborhood has both beautiful residential and shopping districts. I can easily hit my goal of 10,000 steps a day without even trying; I usually clock around 13-14k steps a day now. This is a beautiful thing, especially since I can’t start riding a bike again until next spring due to my surgery earlier this year. 

Earl and I have been walking after supper and getting to know our surroundings a little better. I know folks from the old stomping ground were sure we were going to be shot within days of moving to The Windy City but we have little worries when walking around our neighborhood, even after sunset. The streets are well lit but more importantly, the vibe is safe.

Looking for a slight change of pace the other evening after work I took the train down a couple of stops, walked that neighborhood and then walked back home. I logged nearly 22k steps that day and I felt amazing. Walking around, seeing the sights, and being amongst people other than those texting and/or shaving in their vehicle is a beautiful thing.

It’s just another reason why I think this move to Chicago is one of the best things to ever happen to me and to us.

Relaxed.

Earl and I ventured to Pratt’s Beach in Rogers Park for a relaxing Labor Day at the beach. Jamie and Chris joined us for a while. We sat on blankets on the ground and ate homemade sandwiches. 


One of the things I love about Chicago is the blend of so many cultures without strife. Skin color, language spoken, styles of clothing, none of this makes a difference. In our short time here I’ve witnessed more blending than segregation. 


This beach is reachable by the ‘L’, Chicago’s version of the subway. We take the Brown Line to the Red Line and here we are. We drove today because we were bringing our picnic supplies. If I want to come here to clear my mind during the week, it’s easily reachable. 


The varying types of music filling the air is interesting to me. I’m using the Shazam a lot to identify songs I would not normally hear. I like being exposed to new things. It’s part of what makes life great. 


Since today is the unofficial end of summer, Mother Nature is starting to show just a hint of color in her leaves. For the first time in nearly two decades I am not feeling a sense of dread nor the “closing in” of the change of seasons. 

I’m excited about the continuing adventure. 

Alley.

Across the alley from our patio is a beautiful roof top deck for a local mortgage firm. They have gathering from time to time. From what we’ve heard they’re client parties for new home owners that use their mortgage services. During the week folks from the building have lunch, play table tennis and lounge around a bit.

The space is quite impressive and a wonderful use of the building rooftop. We don’t mind having this activity directly across from our patio, though we do have to remember to wear clothes when we are walking around the condo so we don’t give an inadvertent peep show. We’re not ready to be arrested for naughty behavior at this time. Some people can be prudish about middle aged men walking naked around in front of 10 feet of glass.

We experienced our first Home Owners Association meeting this week. Everyone was friendly and welcomed us to the building. There are several new owners in the building and it was nice to meet them as well. Naturally everyone asked what unit we moved into; they were complimentary when they found out our location. “Oh that’s a nice one!” was a common theme. One woman asked if we liked living directly across the alley from the roof top garden (several units have the same view) and we both remarked that we loved it. It’s a beautiful space that is occasionally populated with beautiful people. Off in the distance we can see the Sears Tower and other buildings downtown.

Who can complain?