Thursday, June 16, 2011
Summer Love In The City
Do you remember your first love?
While in college I got the opportunity to visit Chicago for some class-related trade shows and meetings. I immediately fell in love. The constant humming white noise of the city, the people on the streets and the feeling that you are there taking a part of something all hit me upon arrival. It became my goal to reside in Chicago when I finished school, I had to be with her. And wouldn't you know it? Like a romantic comedy, it actually happened. Across roughly six years now - the time split with my west coast detour - I have had the privilege to experience several of her neighborhoods, living in all sorts of housing and taking in all she has to offer. There's been ups and downs just like in any relationship, but I remain in a torrid love affair with my city. She has treated me well, especially around this time of year when she sheds her heavy winter coat and dons sunny days combined with a social schedule full of options. Things are good.
So imagine my surprise this past weekend when I met a new city. I didn't plan on it happening, I swear. It's just that she was so much bigger and more cultured than my sweet Chicago. We flirted all weekend and had a wicked time doing so, but I promise no lines were crossed. This was only infatuation...I think. Her name was New York and she let me run all over her promenades and bridges while also showing me her ball parks and belly-dancing hookah lounges. Never before had I met a city so open and upfront with who they are. The buzz of people on the street and the ease in which they mix almost made my Chicago seem desolate and prudish.
It was an intoxicating weekend but it was only that, a weekend. I remain committed to my first love, my city, Chicago - warts and all. She has been with me for years and I'm not about to dump her over some hot and heavy flirting with that buxom lass New York. Underneath her hot exterior there are probably larger warts than ones I live with everyday and am used to. I love you Chicago, I promise I'll cut off relations if you'll have me back. No more talk of that New York.
(A special thanks to my hosts, Ryan and Kate. A couple that has that city figured out. When visiting a city of New York's size and complexity, a well versed host can exponentially improve your experience. That is exactly what they did.)