Monday, August 15, 2016

Summer 2016, Day 96; Vacation, Day 9

Today was our Chicago day, and Ben and I drove into the city to walk the 606 Trail in Bucktown. Growing up, the old neighborhood, as  Mom calls it, wasn't the insanely expensive area it is today. I lived here for a couple years, but my mom and grandmother grew up in Bucktown. I always vaguely remember a rail line, built up about 20 feet off the ground, cutting through the neighborhood, with viaducts getting you from one side to the other of the stone structures. The rail line had stopped being used, and most of the factories were long gone, so the path was turned into a multipurpose trail.

Ben and I walked about a mile down the trail from its east trailhead (actually, we started at Wood Street -- the street where I used to live) to Milwaukee Avenue and the L tracks. I pointed out where relatives used to live and where there were once factories (now condos). I took some pictures, and then we headed to St. Mary's, an incredibly ornate church where I was baptized. I think today was the Feast of the Assumption, because we managed to arrive during Mass, so we couldn't take too many pictures or look around much.

One thing that hit me like a ton of bricks was the street and curb right in front of our old apartment. When I was 4, we moved from that house, and I remember sitting in my Uncle Howard's Toyota, fascinated by the steering wheel (it had little horn buttons all over it, but no matter which one you pressed, it sounded just one horn), and trying to stay out of the way as the apartment was packed up and out. Forty-one years ago, right at that curb ...

Ben and I tried going to Smoque to pick up lunch, but it is closed on Mondays, so I took him by Dad's old house in Irivng Park. Then we headed back. Michael and I got some time too, going to Dick's to look for a Bulls Dwyane Wade t-shirt, then trying unsuccessfully to find a self-serve car wash (we passed one by my old high school, but the lot was just repaved, so it was closed). We all went to Lou Malnati's for dinner; I managed a short walk before it rained in the evening..

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