Spring has finally come to Chicago.
…All right, summer has come to Chicago. Spring was not a thing that happened this year. Still, the leaves are coming out and the flowers and trees are blooming, so I’m going to go ahead and call “close enough.”
This time of year always gets my thoughts racing and dumb adolescent emotions high. (One might call it spring fever, if one were so inclined.) Between that, a major upcoming change in my life, and the return of weather that doesn’t make me want to ugly-cry, I’ve been doing a lot of my old friend aimless wandering. I’m quickly realizing that while I’ve lived in my neighborhood for a year and a half, I’ve never noticed the sheer variety of houses and apartments here.
It seems like a strange thing to single out, sure, but this area’s an architectural hodgepodge in a fascinating way. Huge mock-Tudor complexes with manicured grounds sit next to boxy, glum ’80s relics. Stone cottages stand near small palaces with sweeping entry staircases and ornate bas relief decorations. Mid-century buildings that look more commercial than residential are just up the street from brick apartments with charming porticos. Every residence seems to tell its own story, both in its inherent design and the little details that surround it: the yard full of wheelbarrows and what looks like abstract sculpture, the porch post painted like a barber pole, the doll head on the sidewalk, the piled newspapers, the neglected swing between sidewalk and street, the laughter heard from halfway down the block, the woman pacing in the window.
This got a little creepy, maybe? I didn’t, like, watch the pacing woman; I just saw her. In general, I am of a demographic that people tend not to be threatened by, so I tend to get away with scrutinizing things others might not, but still.
I don’t want to pry. I just want a window (not necessarily literal) into lives I’ll never live, or likely come into. I think that’s a natural curiosity to have, especially for a writer, and it seems to have been helpful to me lately. Results pending.