December 6, 2011: Amy Johnson

December 6, 2011: Amy Johnson

I’m so glad it’s snowing!  Even just these few tiny, flakes.  People always get mad at my excitement for the snow, but if you don’t want to bundle up in the winter, then why do you live in Chicago?  I think the weather is one of Chicago’s best qualities. We have outdoor ice skating and we know how to drive on icy roads that become increasingly narrow from plowed snowdrifts.  I was thinking this today as I got on the bus to take me from my West Loop job to my Lakeview apartment.  I watched Halsted fly by and thought about how much I love this city, even thought it hasn’t always loved me back.

I first moved here right after college and got a job at Borders.  I thought working on Michigan Avenue would be incredibly exciting, and while I did almost ring up Vince Vaughn, I spent most of my days telling tourists where the bathroom was.  It also didn’t pay enough to cover my rent.  But I always loved eating my lunch outside by the old water tower and walking over to the MCA for First Fridays.

I have also been unemployed at times, but refused to look for jobs in other cities.  On one such plan-free weekday I took a bike ride from Shedd Aquarium to Evanston, never leaving Lakeshore, and it was easy to remember why I decided to stay.

I started eating lunch in Union Station’s Great Hall to escape the office of one miserable temp job, then I kept going back because it was such a grand room.  I had another Michigan Avenue job that often bored me to tears, but looking out the window at the river and the Wrigley Building always lifted my spirits.  Like its weather, Chicago can bring me down and lift me back up in the span of a few minutes.  And right now it would look even better if this snow would stick.


About the author: After muddling through several more jobs not even discussed here, Amy Johnson decided to go back to school and get a Masters Degree in education.  This time next year she hopes to be teaching high school students all about literature and grammar in a Chicago Public School.

Filed under: December 2011


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  • Hi Amy,

    I work for a small Lincoln Park restaurant that will be serving free dinner to needy families on Christmas Eve. We're looking for volunteers and donations (anything from food to free dental exams to whatever people can do or give). Please let me know if you're interested in helping.
    And keep up the great writing!


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