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First Blogadictory Efforts

I'm new to this blogging business as of today. Fortunately, I have quite a few writings in my backlog all ready to go. Here are a few to get caught up.

I saw a man walking down Riverside Plaza today who could have been my father, thirty-five years ago. Neat, brown suit; brown fedora with a plain brown band; sturdy but unflashy black dress shoes; leather attache case; and an old-fashioned, non-retractable umbrella hanging on his forearm. The only thing missing was a London Fog trenchcoat. I am absolutely certain he wouldn't be grabbing a latte at Starbucks; he drinks his coffee black, bitter and scorching, served by a fireball named Rosie along with his bacon and eggs.


It's national Take Your Children To Work Day, and it's nice to see kids downtown. Particularly the mother of two, who was walking down Riverside Plaza with each hand holding that of a child. Heartwarming, except for the cigarette she had shoved in her mouth, which she fired up within seconds of leaving the train station. It's so nice to see how much you care about your children.


As Inspired by Calvin Trillin
TV news creatures of today
Tanned, coiffed, and impeccably toothed
Eyes that are contacted to a perfect hue

One would be as pressed as one of
Their rich and immaculate suits
For a sincere response to "Is the sky blue?"


At the Ashland Avenue El stop, a young man stands facing the southwest, awaiting his train, brightly illuminated by an overhead light. Dressed neatly in all black, tailored slacks, impeccable wool coat; austere, rigid, and self-consciously cool. Further down the platform are two shadowed, unlit figures, one standing and the other seated.

The train rolls on, past Cermak Road, where a homeless man's squat sits silently underneath the concrete pillars of the El. Scavenged garbage bins line a humble promenade which leads to a humbler shelter of plywood sheets and a roof of discarded silver-colored tarpaulin. The man, who has been spied but once, is nowhere to be seen this morning. Two decrepit bicycles lie alongside, waiting, vying to transport him to wherever it is that he unhurriedly needs to go.

Outside Union Station, a tired family of five, clearly from out of town, walks aimlessly up the sidewalk. A mostly empty McDonald's bag clutched at the mother's side reveals the extent of their city exploration. They are likely here only to change Amtrak trains, on their long way home.

It has grown rather cold again. Snow flecks the air, and the wind blows steadily, somewhat biting, out of the north. A new year.


May 9, 2003 in Chicago Observations | Permalink