A caffeinated train ride that departed at 7:40am from Grand Rapids, MI bound for Chicago, IL marked my first official day as a Windy City resident. While LA and the film scene was fabulous these past several months, the profession and place to which I belong is Wine and in the Midwest.
With 7 bags (which I silently counted while moving my lips on several occasions over the course of the trip to assure myself that I hadn't lost one), I arrived at Chicago's Union Station. Ill equipped for the cold having omitted 'gloves' from my packing list and overloaded with seven now seemingly heavier pieces of luggage, I stepped outside the station and into a cab.
I read the cab driver the address of my destination. Upon arriving only 9 minutes and $12 later, he took my luggage from the trunk and placed it on the grey slush covered street. I thanked him, smiled and wished him a lovely rest of the day. I left my bags where they were in the off-colored snow and slush. Acknowledging that I found 'my place', I looked up to the third story where my new home awaited. I grinned & grabbed my luggage as I preceded to the front gate with prepared keys in hand.
Due to the windy & wintery weather, I didn't have the opportunity to meet anyone next door. However, I did have a chance to take in the view. Looking across the street and up to the roof, a Dr. Seuss-esque ladder caught my eye, with non-symmetric steps leading... where? I shared the snapshot online and asked whether this ladder led to 'nowhere' or 'anywhere' - prompting a half-full or half-empty response. Some said nowhere. Others said anywhere. And then one said, "It simply leads somewhere." I do believe I liked that response the best. All too often we define finite outcomes for results not yet realized. (I do believe I am guilty of that and hope to be innocent of the charge in the future.)
Bookended by a bottle of wine, my night was made memorable by simple fare (a dinner consisting of all-natural dehydrated plantains from a local gourmet grocer), a snowy commute on foot, taxi & train (with a trek downtown and back), an independent film at the Gene Siskel Film Center on State Street (where I had the great pleasure of watching 'A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night') and a back gate entrance to get back inside the apartment and out of the cold (as I found myself at an impasse at the front gate with its ice-covered lock).
All in all, my first day as a Chicago resident was a memorable one with simple pleasures and small accomplishments. I look forward to all the adventures yet to transpire and all the details to take note of along the way. I look forward to my city explorations and urban education.