An autobiographical synopsis to account for the recent lapse in posting.
Wednesday, 2012-07-11 | Announcements, Chicago, demongin.org, Journal
Aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram, once recorded, will not die.
For the time-being, I am giving my mother's address in Lisle as my permanent address.
But it's not as bad as it sounds.
I have not suffered mental illness and been reduced to homelessness; neither have I been reduced to poverty by government corruption or kleptomaniac looter-aristocrats with larceny in their hearts and their fingers in the public purse.
Rather, I am simply between permanent addresses. Mostly, this is on account of my having left Maryland, stopped in Chicago (where I do not plan to re-assume permanent, year-round residence), and not having a precise locale in mind for my final destination.
And so, until further notice, I am holed up in my mother's north side, beach-front condo. And giving her suburban home address as my permanent address. And it's not as bad as it sounds.
Beach life is alright, though the tendency of sand to find its way into my bed is somewhat annoying. My primary insight into the life of beach-dwelling Chicagoans is this: Chicago's man-made beaches came into existence mainly on account of 19th century Lord Jim, master-of-all-I-survey-type moguls such as Daniel Burnham and John Root, who famously regarded the great outdoors as something halfway between an amusement park and an outhouse and those Great Men would be proud to know that the tradition endures.
Two other insights I have had, since returning, about Chicago are these:
- Kuma's Corner has finally attained the "culinary institution" status that most folks always figured that it deserved. This, like all blessings bestowed by consensus, is mixed: while business is clearly booming, the usual clientele of counter- and sub-culture types has been supplanted almost entirely by polo-wearing crew cuts and their knob-chinned bleach blonde girlfriends. They also had the metal turned way down and some kind of news on the TV the last time I was there.1
- Chicago is an awesome place to live if you enjoy craft beer. Or obscure whiskey. The awesomeness has a lot to do with the ubiquity of both and the resulting downward pressure on the market. In Chicago, you can stumble out of the rain into almost any bar and buy a world-competitive craft beer for $4. A punkabilly guy at Delilah's with a waxy pompadour and hundred little tattoos on his arm poured me a glass of Heaven Hill 10 year and apologized for the fact that, at $10, it was so expensive. Try that in a God-forsaken jerkwater like Washington, DC: just you try it.
Anyway, all of that to one side, I plan to cool my heels here for the remainder of July and all of August. After Labor Day, the dog and I intend to continue our westering progress.
Until then, I'll be telecommuting to Bethesda by day and revisiting the old, familiar haunts by night.
- Here I should offer the massive qualifier that I have been a vegetarian since 2007 and have never actually eaten any food at Kuma's. Well, actually, I think I might have had a waffle fry once and it was pretty good, I think. At any rate, the point is this: my former enjoyment of the place had everything to do with atmosphere and attitude and, even if the burgers are better than ever--and they might just be, for a I know--both the atmosphere and the attitude have definitely changed. And not for the better.