February 08, 2005

In the Living.

Whatever city I am visiting, I mull on "Could I live here?" until I come to a descision. I have never thought I could live in New York City, primarily because being a midwesterner with bona-fide hick sacre coursing in my veins, I cannot, on a matter of principal, pay exorbitant rent for an apartment the size of an American Girl™ dollhouse, and also, you cannot turn right on red. I cannot live in Boston because the streets are little and made for carriages and horses, and all the resturants are actually college bars. Most of New England, the frontdoors are too close to the street. Seattle used to be my favorite, but now when I walk around all I remember is where dead friends lived and where other dead friends died. Minneapolis is nice, but everyone is white, there is only one good show a month, and people still talk about what a terror I was when I last lived there - in 12th grade. Los Angeles has no shade, no trees and all the young people are grinding in fifth gear spinning their soul to ash just to say they did. Austin still has never lived up to it's hype, and yes, I have been there when it's not SXSW week.

I like Houston because all the museums are free and there is nothing to do, but rather than drinking into oblivion, kids funk shit up, plus I could sit in the Rothko chapel for hours a day and creep my core out with the stillness, staring into the purple red canvases that look someone sopped blood with them. I like Cleveland because it is old and charming and no one really gives a shit about it, but unlike Detroit or St.Louis, it's still got some pride, it's not slutting it in some Beirut afterlife. I like Providence from what I remember, thought last time I was there, for Rjyan and Roby's wedding, I had a panic attack that lasted three days and thought I was going to expire - and Providence seemed like an ok place to go. I like Portland because everyone likes Portland until you actually move there. I like Gary Indiana because it is looks like it has endured old testament God-wratch upon it for the last 40 years.

And so I stay in Chicago, with all it's jagged dicotomy of new construction yellow brick condos and it's rugged dilapitation, it's grid system lay-out, it's oppressive city politics, abundance of soul food, donuts, porches, freejazz, trees, easily trespassible roof access, non-white people, hideous public art, thrift stores, trains and their tracks, free things, bike lanes, 4 am burrito joints, zine and used book stores, drunk scenesters to mock, and plus, my rent is $250/mo. I spend my summer 3ams riding my bike around the warehouse area not far from my apartment, where swingshifters are loading recyclables, couture pretzels, frozen fishes and palettes, and I sing all the Carpenters songs I know and practice riding no handed, and sometimes I run into Al, or other friends and they ride too, or one time a bunch of us were biking and some drunk employees partying on the roof of Goose Island's brewing factory and they let us in and gave us a tour and spent over an hour explaining the entire process of grain into beer. How is that not heaven made special on earth?

Posted by Jessica at February 8, 2005 12:25 AM | TrackBack