Wednesday, March 21, 2007

City Livin'

I'm adapting to city life. Traffic, parking, walking - all such things are going pretty darn well. I guess the parking situation makes a huge difference depending on the season. I was pretty much cursing it when I first moved here due to the fact that it was FRIGID outside, and walking a block in the frigidness just wasn't that much fun. Now, that its a bit warmer, I don't mind so much.

In fact, part of city living that I'm LOVING is the fact that we live so close to the lake. We went for a 5 mile run yesterday (in preparation for the Shamrock Shuffle on Sunday) and about half of those miles were right on the Lake. I've always had an affinity for the East Shore of Lake Michigan, being that we spent many a summer vacation traipsing on its shores growing up. But, I'm finding that fondness is just as strong for the Chicago Shore too. Even yesterday, with a bit of chill in the air and wind whipping from the North - the shore was full of life. Herring gulls squawking and riding the wind. People bundled up in winter gloves and hats on the beach trying to catch the breeze with a kite, with the cold choppy waves crashing behind them. People walking dogs, playing soccer, riding bikes, running along amongst the groomed paths and still sleeping trees. All with the skyline of the city of Chicago in the background. Its just always great to see humanity enjoying the natural resources together. Something about it just makes all feel right in the world.

I'm looking forward to purchasing a bike so we can hit the lakeshore paths soon. After this 8K, I don't know how much running I'm going to want to do. I like it and all - but I think biking will be more fun.

Anyway, even with that happy city picture painted brightly in my mind, I am reminded of how afraid of the city I still am sometimes. I've never really lived in the I still have some small town girl cautiousness dwelling in the background. Things like "women shouldn't walk alone, especially at night" and "always be aware of your surroundings". I guess those are just common sense, personal safety things, but I can't always have an escort after dark when I park my car two blocks away.

The fear was recently brought back to life when a news story of a slasher was recently reported. We saw it on the news Saturday night, but with all the drunken hullabaloo in the background Pat and I couldn't really hear the story; although the footage they were showing of the neighborhood looked vaguely familiar. Turns out, it was our neighborhood - some dude was going around stabbing/slashing at random people, some in daylight, some at night. The last attack was Sunday late morning, they caught him on Monday. All day on Monday I didn't want to leave the house. It was rather creepy. I didn't like that feeling at all - it made me want to move to the suburbs where I could at least feel a bit safer - although shitty things and crazy people happen out there too.

Anyway, I'm sure I'll become used to and numbed by the kind of things that happen in the city, just like I've adapted to street parking and pushing in my side view mirror to make sure it doesn't get taken off by passing traffic. Its all part of human adapt. But I don't think I'll ever stop looking for slashers.

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