Welcome Back, Franklin!
I've had many a dream about my return to my hometown. Little did I know that upon a brief stroll down Michigan Avenue to ready for an appointment, I'd be confronted not only with those cool breezes Chicago's famously known for, but the aggressive mating call of a man taken with my, uh, beauty?
This was a totally over-the-top, out of my ordinary occurrence.
Soo not used to public displays of affection from strangers. See, even though I'm a native, I've lived the last decade plus in Los Angeles and in LA you get no play, unless you're a super model. I'm not a model. Never aspired to be. I mean, LA men were downright hostile at times -- I've been scoffed at, eyes were rolled, I've been ignored... you get the picture. Am I Shrek? -- absolutely not, but I am female and I have feelings. So, when this gent took the time to inform the world -- literally yelling at the top of his lungs on a crowded sidewalk no less, that he thought me enchanting, I was smitten.
Okay, actually I was embarrassed and slightly tickled. The guy bought a smile to my face. No one ever told me -- especially in such a public forum, that they thought I was lovely and wanted to know if I had a cell phone so he could call his mother and tell her he fell in love that day.
Such is the beauty of Chicago.
Unafraid, unabashed and in your face. My kind of town. And yeah, I acquired a taste for the stylized, manufactured loveliness that is LA, but Chicago, Chicago is home. I get a thrill from brick, proud and prominent architecture and people that look like... well, real people. I'm still in awe of all the redevelopment on the "new east side", the "near south side", the "west Loop" and all the other areas I've yet to learn and rediscover.
LA was/is different. There was/is a way of being, different rules, different cultural perceptions, different values. So while I did as the Romans -- er, Los Angeleans did, I'm no longer a stranger in a strange land. Now I'm a stranger in my hometown. Join me as I reacquaint myself with this beautiful city, and all she has to offer.
"Hey, hey -- you have a cell phone so I can call my mother and tell her I fell in love with Chicago today?!"