Thursday, June 15, 2006

What is This “Park” You Speak Of?

As my blog grows in popularity (some have even described the growth as “exponential”), I thought it appropriate to explain the “Park” portion of the title “A View from the Park.”

As some may have suspected, it has absolutely nothing to do with running or working out or what I ate today—unless I happen to eat a park, a ballpark, a Ballpark brand hotdog, or all of the food that is available in a park, which isn’t entirely out of the realm of possibility, I suppose. However, that is not the intended meaning.

In fact, the Park doesn’t refer to anything all that witty or clever, it’s arguably barely relevant, which may disappoint my legions of fans who have come to expect great things from my quick wit, cleverness and relevance. Perhaps I have set the bar a bit too high.

Nonsense.

The “Park” refers to my new home in Rogers Park, one of the many eclectic Chicago neighborhoods. For those of you not familiar with Chicago, the city is sectioned off into neighborhoods, each with its own individual “personality” and vibe. I have heard people say that Chicagoans are very “neighborhood-centric.” I think people just tend to take pride in their little section of this fabulous city.

Rogers Park (or the “RP”) is no different. It’s the northern-most city neighborhood along Lake Michigan. It’s a changing, growing area and there’s a steady stream of young professionals moving into newly converted, affordable condos, yet the RP manages to retain its “old hippie” vibe.

While cool restaurants, bars, and shops are slowly beginning to pop up in Rogers Park, there are already some definite gems, like my personal favorite, Heartland Café. It’s a bar; it’s a restaurant; it’s a crazy hippie hangout stuck in the 1960s. My friends, it’s all of those things, but mostly, for me, it’s the place where I order hummus. Yum.

On the downside, Rogers Park is far, in my opinion, from everything… including my job, my gym, my old neighborhood Lakeview, and pretty much everyone I know. Chicago is big and the Red line El train is slow. But, there are positives and negatives to every neighborhood in the city.

So that’s the “Park.” I imagine you’re asking, “Lou, what if you move?” Excellent question dear reader to which I have a clever and witty (and somewhat relevant) answer: Chicago is full of parks; I’m sure no matter where I go I’ll be near one of them.

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