Friends & Family

Shopping in a winter wonderland

Chicago: May 2003

I loved Chicago in the summer. Scott and I used to walk everywhere, exploring the different neighborhoods. We biked along the lake, I sometimes sneaked ice cream cones when I disembarked at the Addison el stop, we sat outside at Southport Lanes after softball eating grilled cheese on Texas toast, we sweated without an air conditioner during the heatwave of 1995. There was all sorts of summery goodness in the city.

I loved Chicago in the spring when the tulips sprouted along Michigan Avenue. I loved Chicago in the fall when I trudged through the leaves on sidewalks along Fullerton and Southport and various other avenues.

But I really pine for Chicago the most in the winter. No, I don’t miss the freezing cold. (Although I’m slightly nostalgic for the 20 degree blizzardy day that I had to wait 30 minutes for one bus to take me to the connecting stop where I had to wait another 45 minutes for the second bus, and by the time it came I had to pee so badly that I winced and prayed as we crawled down Lake Shore Drive. That was a great winter moment!)

What I miss is the holiday season in the city. I would step out of the office at 5:30 to be greeted by darkness that was lit by twinkling lights. By bustling shoppers. By the jingle of the Salvation Army bells. The snowflakes seemed more romantic as they wafted down between the concrete buildings. People were skating on State Street. I loved all of it. And I really miss experiencing even a small part of the fun.

Which is why I’m so excited that Tiffany and I will be driving to the city in December. Cameras in hand, we’ll hit Michigan Avenue along with the busloads of midwestern shoppers. I can’t wait!