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Urban Ava

Growing up in the burbs one is taught to fear the city. Especially when half of the parental duo grew up in said city, and in not the nicest part…Of course time has passed and after countless trips the “downtown” area my fears have been alleviated although I have never gone alone. The L maps confuse me, I have no sense of direction and my iPhone map application always seems to loose its ability to connect at the most inopportune times (thank you AT&T) so my venture to the concert did have some nerves associated with it.

My anxieties were completely unfounded. I browsed around the loop went to the historic Marshall Fields (which I suppose I should admit is Macy’s but refuse) so many clothing options…so many cashmere sweaters even in my size…frango mints and well just more of everything. I took a cab to my hotel chatted with people in the lobby none of which uttered the phrase “you betcha” or talked about hunting, 4-wheeling, camping or getting their ice shanties ready to put on some god forsaken frozen lake.

The hotel was wonderful in was right smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood filled with three flats and low rise apartments/condos. I walked the block and a half to Jewel and bought overpriced food and wine, stopped to browse at available condos adds in the window of the real estate office and popped in at a bar for a pre-dinner drink.

Home is a funny concept. When I have a bad day…or year I find myself saying I just want to go home, but in my years away from where I grew up the concept has gotten fuzzy. Since my parents have moved to no-where’s Illinois being with them isn’t quite home and Rochester well my stubborn streak never even gave it half a chance. Maybe it was because I was happy about being on vacation or excited to go to my concert but walking through the neighborhood, shopping at Jewel and not saying hi to people as I pass them on the street suited me just fine. I was in a place where my evening entertainment was a cab ride away, any store or restaurant I could ever want to go was here. I was happy, I was by myself but I was where I wanted to be.

On a sleeting Wednesday night in December I was standing on a Wrigleyville street corner hailing a cab and I knew...I knew I was home.

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