Thursday, July 02, 2020

hello beautiful

Admittedly, I found myself a little teary as I ventured downtown for my first three days back at the library.  Not so much because I was scared (though no doubt I am a little ) but moreso that felt like I was back where I belong.  Maybe not just the library so much, which is still not technically open til next week and barely then, and which is currently more tomb-like and cool with only a smattering of staff. But just downtown and making my way through the city as I've done nearly every weekday for the past two decades.  And this is coming from someone who rather likes working at home (and will still be doing it some days of the week). 

And while I worried sometimes that it would never be the same, after Covid, after looting and some destruction, it is actually still very much the same downtown I left in March.  The streets are not deserted and overrun with coyotes. There are still some stuff closed indeterminately and some boarded up windows (though most bedecked with BLM artwork by now if not replaced just yet.)  People are out, though a bit less than a weekday afternoon in the summer, when Michigan Avenue is usually glutted with tourists.  But there are still people, all of them masked, or outside, at least carrying one to put on inside. Tuesday, I cried over seeing the skyline on LSD.  Today I nearly cried at how responsible and good our city seems to be when it comes to wearing masks and keeping people safe--a huge feat in such a large city that at times is actually quite small. (Recommendation:  Do not cry in mask.  It's hard and gives you sniffles and probably makes people think you have the rona.) 

But I said hello to the things I love--the lake I'd barely seen for months the lake from LSD,  the Wrigley Building, the river, Grant Park, the flower beds along the Mag Mile. The harbors and their boats and the steadily swelling pond near the zoo which has once again escaped it's carefully engineered banks.  It's like the city is waking up again.   The trees near the bus stop appear to be alarmingly filled with wasps, which is somehow a poem in itself, but the buses are not as crowded as they used to be, nor are the sidewalks in the south loop, with all the students gone. 

The news is still scary, but Chicago seems to be holding itself together. I am holding myself together.  

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