December 08, 2010

No Idea What This Post Is About

(You'll need to clickee these pictures to get the whole deal)

So let's see what do I have to say today? Christmas is coming. This Saturday I'm taking my daughters to Stephanie Izzard's place. My second time, their first. When I went on my birthday I was apparently the only one having fun. I liked it fine & thought it not only worth the trip into town but up to standards for a name chef.

In two weeks we're taking the grand daughter to the Goodman to see A Christmas Carol again. It's a kind of tradition around this time of year. I think they've been running it 33 years now. Last year I got in to the ticket rush late and the best we could do was upper balcony. Grand daughter didn't mind & had a great time. But THIS year I scored 4th Row tickets, center stage-right. I think I dove in the second or third day the tickets came available. It's a big deal in Chicago. It's going to blow her mind to practically be able to reach out and touch it. She's in Second Grade. In other words 7 going on 13.

Then after the show, which is a matinee, we're taking her to Macy's what used to be Marshall Field's where, since 1907, the Walnut Room has been operating on the department store's 7th floor. In particular this time of year because that's where you can sit under the Tree which goes up every Christmas season. Normally breakfast is the best - because we always got champagne with our waffles and that is just evil good - but we're doing dinner this time because it's the only time we'll be in the city before Christmas Day. But, my God, I first sat under the tree when I was in second grade... and now here's my grand daughter. Did you know that the ceiling in the main part of the store is by Tiffany?

Tis true indeed. You can even travel up to the whatever-floor-that-is and get so close you can see where there are little glass mosaic pieces missing. But it's pretty awesome. I can't imagine what that might be worth up there, dollar-wise, but all of this - and more - is what makes me happy to still be living in the town I was born is. Even if the snow we had last weekend has frozen solid white because we haven't been over 20 since SUNDAY FOR GOD'S SAKE!!!

No but I can't think of living anywhere else.

Except Gibraltar.

Of course that's not something likely to happen because pretty much I think MrsRW and I will never end up very far from the grandchildren so I don't know where I get this.

Except to say that if what I see about to happen here in the US actually does happen - meaning the reins of government about to be taken up sometime in the next 4 years by forces that will represent some kind of anti-intellectual, common man, xenophobic, foreign-intervention minded, God-fearing gun owner ideal - I'd surely consider leaving if it were possible. Which it won't be, but I'm just saying. Lately everywhere I look I'm seeing signs of a groundswell of narrow-minded reactionaries gearing up to take over. And I don't think it can be stemmed any more.

And so I was thinking about "hmmm what places that are a little out of the way and yet have all the comforts you'd need, plus English because as an American I can only speak one language, would be cool to go to?" And prancing around the internet I come up with Gibraltar don't ask me how or why. It looks exotic without being threatening, or whatever that is.

But the more I look at it the more interesting it becomes. A great mix of Spanish and English, Moor and Moroccan. never gets below 55, mostly Mediterranean cloudless in the summer tempered by the sea to rarely get too far over 85. There's 30,000 people who live there and it is far enough away from all the coming troubles while still being close enough to cultural centers. I mean the chances of us actually ever getting to Spain (my dream) are bad enough so this is a big pipe dream but, you know, it's kind of a game.

And yet, truth be told, every time I'm away from Chicago more than a few days I miss it. And I miss it bad. Even if I'm on a family vacation where everybody's with us, I miss it. The place I mean. I like knowing that if I wanted to I could get in my car and drive to my old neighborhood. My White Sox and my Bears are here. I don't really mind the weather (we don't tell you about May and September when the days have warmed up and the clear nights are cool and things are just about perfect - we only talk about the bitter winters and muggy Augusts because we don't want to give you any ideas you might want to live here, actually), and if I'm not used to it by now wtf?

So I'm still the same crazy mixed-up kid I always was I guess. In the same place I've been for a while now.


sybil law said...

You have a very lucky granddaughter!!
If you move to Gibraltar, can I come visit? I'm totally going to check that place out more now.
I go nuts in this town, but yep - it's home and I do love it and the freezing winters and humid summers. There's also the gorgeous leaves in fall and hills and familiarity, everywhere.

B.E. Earl said...

I don't think I'll ever miss LI when I'm gone. Maybe NYC, but I don't get there as often as I used to or as I'd like.

The only place I've ever dreamed of living is Key West. Just a little bungalow shrouded by vegetation somewhere in Old Town. Maybe over by the cemetery. It's quiet there. Within walking distance of anyplace I'd want to go anyway. Maybe a slow-moving bicycle. I'd stroll along Duval Street every once in a while to laugh at the tourists. And I'd shake my fist at all the new construction while I was having cocktails and lunch at Louie's Backyard. Or having fried fish po-boys at B.O.'s. Or chilling out with Gia for sunset at the South Beach pier or the White Street pier while everyone else on the island is over Mallory Dock.

Yeah...that'd be nice.

Brian said...

I hear good things about Belize, too. But I gotta work for a few more decades so it's either Canada or Australia for me. And one is relatively easy.

Dave2 said...

The more I travel, the more I realize that I could live absolutely anywhere. Sure there are places I prefer over others, but so long as I have internet and a safe place to sleep, it's all good. I often dream of becoming a nomad, traveling around the world with no home at all.

SK Waller said...

Merida, in the Yucatan. It's basically an outpost for expatriated artists and writers, is cheap, and has great street and cafe life year-round.

Tug said...

How was it today? What an awesome experience, and tradition.

I want to either buy an RV & keep moving, or find a beach with a fixer upper I can just play around in all day (or night if I'm busy at the beach all day).