frances in the city

one week already?
September 1, 2008, 7:05 pm
Filed under: Chicago!

So begins week number two in glorious Chicago. It feels like it’s been so much longer than that. We’ve been running around absorbing as much as we can before classes start (tomorrow!?).

This weekend was the jazz festival in Grant Park, which is free, but not really when you smell all the delicious food and get suckered into paying obscene amounts of cash for the food that smells soooo good. I had Columbian ribs and chicken. How cultured am I? Kind people have published some comprehensive guides to Chicago festivals that they’ll hand you (for free!) so I doubt I’ll be bored anytime soon.

how beautiful is Grant Park?

how beautiful is Grant Park?

Most of you know my good friend Nate is going to school in the city as well. The University of Illinois at Chicago is less than 2 miles away and it’s been a HUGE blessing having someone from home so close. We can travel between dorms pretty easily thanks to the bus. Friday night we were headed back to his campus and waiting for the bus. The bus was already running late when we started seeing a lot of people on bikes. Then more. Then a ton more. We watched for a good ten minutes as two solid lanes of bicycle traffic blocked our bus. Apparently these people meet up on the last Friday of every month to ride their bikes home from work. I’m really bad at estimating the number of bikes, but there were probably several thousand that blocked traffic. They kept saying “Happy Friday!” and all the people at the bus stop kept yelling back “It’ll be happy when I can get home!” I thought it was hysterical. And almost enough to make me wish I had a bike here. Almost.



Aside from acquiring a Chicago Public Library card and preferred shopper card from Jewell-Osco, I  experienced another rite of passage to become a true city dweller this weekend by assembling my first piece of IKEA furniture. Woo! I’ve absolutely loved IKEA since we visited the first time a few years ago because everything there is ridiculously cheap and ridiculously well designed. Sadly I can only afford necessities at this point, but my roommate and I bought three lamps for $25(!) and I assembled all three! We didn’t buy all the right kinds of lightbulbs, but the important main lamp is up and running (We’d been operating without a legitimate light source in the living room since we moved in). 

I absolutely love this city and the culture and the activities, but it’s a little hard experiencing a lot of it alone. There are so many things that have reminded me of individual people and so many experiences I wish I could experience with specific people. You know when you see something in a store and you think of someone who would absolutely love it? Chicago’s like a giant really cool store full of all kinds of things I want to give to people. I guess I’ll just take lots of pictures and we’ll pretend like you were there. It’ll be fun.


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So, do you want your bicycle sent up on the next bus?

Comment by Dad

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