We’re still in Chicago. We’re having a great time but we've been here so long I’ve practically forgotten where I live the rest of the year. Los Angeles? Where’s that? For all I know, California has snapped off and fallen into the Pacific. Being around my family, it takes all my energy to avoid regressing into infancy. I think I reached the nadir of regression after about 8 days. Who is that woman in my bedroom, I thought with a start on Day 6? Hey, that 13-year-old girl looks familiar but I can’t quite place her. Oh, wait—it’s my wife and daughter! Last weekend I woke up and suddenly felt my present-day self rushing back into my body. As we approach our departure, I find that I’m flickering like a Midwestern firefly between 2008 and the early 1970s.
I love Chicago. Let’s face it, as a thriving, culturally rich metropolitan center, it leaves Los Angeles in the dust. Granted, I don’t want to hear my adopted city trashed by any snooty Chicagoans, but between you and me, Chicago rules in terms of architecture, food, theatre, public parks, museums, and general cohesiveness and brand loyalty. Sure, the weather sucks six months out of the year, but most people here take that in stride and are thus more grateful for the months when you can actually walk outside without risking frostbite or heat exhaustion.
If I actually lived here I would pace myself better. As it is, with all the people I need to see, I am averaging about six meals a day. Is it an homage to my beloved home town that I am morphing into the body shape of the first Mayor Daley? I think I’ve had my quota of Chicago hot dogs, deep dish pizza, Italian beef, and other local delicacies for the next millennium. As soon as I get back to L.A. tomorrow night I will begin my annual post-Chicago cleanse.
Yesterday we went to one of my favorite spots from childhood, the Museum of Science and Industry, housed in a magnificent building that was built for the 1893 Worlds Columbian Exposition in Chicago. I’m sure it was growing up here that made me into such a history lover. Everywhere you look there are signs of Chicago’s fascinating past. Today there is a real appreciation and respect for the history of the city although many of my favorite buildings were torn down in the miserable 1970s and 80s.
There's so much more I could say about this wonderful town and the intricacies of my family dynamic but it’s 10 am and time for another meal. Is there a world going on out there? I need to find a newspaper since I have no idea what’s going on. Wait, I think some guy named Spitz just won big at the Olympics. And I know there’s a big election coming up in a few months. I, for one, am putting all my money on McGovern.