Where Is Home?

It's a good thing that blogger conferences don't happen all the time. Over the past few days I've discovered that attending the biggest blogging conference for women in the world, BlogHer, and having lots of fun at it, is extremely unconducive (is that a word? well, it is now!) to my blogging. I will definitely write more about that soon, but I got to thinking this morning that I only have three more days here. I'm trying to figure out how I can fit in everything I haven't done yet and see all the people I have yet to see. Why can't they all just move to Los Angeles? I mean, not having to deal with winter is nice.

This view of the Chicago River is gorgeous, but it will not look like this in six months. Sure, the buildings will be there, but it will be freezing. Cold, gray, harsh, unforgiving. There'd be no way I'd stand there and snap that picture in the middle of January. Well, maybe if I had a death wish... but I don't, so that's that.

I got into a conversation yesterday with an employee at the Sheraton (where the conference was) and we reminisced about all the fabulous dance clubs Chicago used to have: Shelter, Kaboom, China Club, The Vic, The Riviera, and they are all gone now. I used to positively live at Shelter... but if I drive by 564 W. Fulton now, it's all condos.

We laughed about how the cops used to be afraid to drive through the notorious housing project, Cabrini Green, and how sometimes they'd shut down Division St. because the gangsters would be shooting. All that is gentrified now with people who have no real idea what used to be there. We both wondered where all the folks who used to live in Cabrini went. It's like they disappeared in the concrete smoke of the wrecking balls.

We wondered, where is home when home doesn't look like it used to? When the soul of a place has changed to the point that the only consistency is the El tracks running through it's heart.

I love it here. I really really do. I love my friends. I love my family. But I am homesick for Los Angeles. I think I'm ready to go home.


nick said…
It's true that when an area gets gentrified and covered with flashy condos and coffee shops so often the heart goes out of the place and it becomes soulless. The people who used to live there and gave it such a great atmosphere usually end up moving out because they can't afford to live there any more or the well-heeled incomers look down on them. Sad.
Remnants of U said…
I guess that happens in many cities. When the projects are replaced...One wonders where the previous residents move to..The don't disappear into thin air.
Liz Dwyer said…
What I wonder is how come the folks who were originally in a neighborhood can't get all the coffee shops AND be able to stay in their homes. That would make more sense to me.

No, they don't disappear. And even if the living conditions in a place like Cabrini Green were deplorable, it was still home. But maybe it's a relief to be uprooted from that and moved wherever. I don't know.
Unknown said…
Don't GO! STAY! LOL! It was fun meeting you and I can understand your point BUT as someone who has stayed (IN JANUARY I WILL be singing a different tune) the new stuff is almost just as fun ~ We change, we grow, we still love Chi, even as I watch my neighborhood fall to gentrification in the midst of a recession.

The local taco stand has become a gallery, Maxwell street is now University Village...yeh, it can be sad BUT I sure LOVE JambaJuice!

Hope we can get together next time you are home, HUGS!!!
Liz Dwyer said…
LOL! Well, all the new stuff does make the city seem fresh and new, and yes, it IS nice to have a Jamba Juice around instead of just on the northside! Sigh, what is the balance?

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