It's real easy for me to pick on all things Chicago. I grew up there and never lived outside of the city limits till I moved out of the city at age 35. I was a city punk, city rat, city brat, whatever you want to call it. For my first 11 years we weren't allowed to hang around the house, who wants a bunch of kids in little 3 and 4 room apartments, we roamed the streets. Hopped on L's when we were 8 to go down town. Never thought twice about going any place we felt like going.
By the time I was 30 I figured out I lived in 15 different places all around the city. That's probably why to this day as long as I feel comfortable somewhere, I feel at home. Where doesn't matter.
I got to work for the Chicago Park District for four years helping my friend Bob Long, Jr. run the Kid Fishin' Program. I spent 4 years hanging out at all the parks that have lagoons. I had to visit virtually every park in the city at one time or another. Not once, ever, did I feel out of place or uncomfortable. It was home.
Then something changed, the noise got to me. Now the further I can get from the city the better.
The graphic arts industry makes me stay within close proximity, but it's rare that I have to work in the city proper. Suggestions of going into the city to do anything entertainment wise are generally turned down. Too many people, too much noise, not real interesting anymore.
I find myself now working right next to O'Hare. I put up a post the other day poking fun at Chicago's fall colors.
Being fair and one time actually liking the city, I went out on my lunch break to see if I could capture some fall color. This was going to be a bitch. I was in the middle of office tower, parking lot and parking garage hell. Across the street is an area of Chicago that we used to call the Witness Relocation Area. This is where you went in Chicago when you wanted no one on earth to find you. Who goes there?
I did my best. I had no choice but to take advantage of the angularity of the buildings around me. I walked around the so called neighborhood a bit, but it winds up that the limited amount of trees near me were more than what was just a little further away.
I don't know, some aren't bad. You really have to focus on the individual trees and get up close. If you're just looking out across the parking lot, all you see are a couple of trees and some vines plastered to a parking garage.
There's color out there after all, you just have to look a little harder.