Look What the Wind Blew In

May 27, 2008 at 10:17 pm 2 comments

Got back today from a long weekend in Chicago. We had a fantastic time—meeting up with some family and friends—but man, it is good to be home. Being away from Forest Hills/NYC, especially in another city, tends to bring out the snooty New Yorker in me. Simply, I find it hard for most other cities to compare to this one. There are things about Chicago that I love—yards and yards of public green space, extroverted people who seem fairly well adjusted to the concept of having a little body fat, and some top-draw children’s activities—but all of it glares hypocritical in the sight of many panhandlers, including a few teenagers, and disabled vets who are looking for handouts. Chicago is a lot like New York now, where the wealth is in everyone’s face, but so is the unfairness of how that wealth has skipped over the lives of so many others.

Anyway, back to what a snoot I am. One of my favorite friends from college lives in a neighborhood in northern Chicago, and he picked me up on his Yamaha and gave me a tour of much of downtown. He started on that whole “Look at our architecture” shpiel, which I tuned out because (1) I’ve heard it before (you can’t be in Chicago for more than a half hour without hearing about it), and (2) New York has as much and much-much more by way of interesting architecture. But I will give Chicago this: it’s got it’s own Franky Gerhy-designed amphitheater and something called the Cloud Gate (locally referred to as “the Bean”), which was designed by Anish Kapoor. Both are in the newish Millennium Park. The way the Bean reflects the city’s skyline, including the impressive Smurfit-Stone sky-grazer, is truly a wonder.

Really, all of it was great. But I definitely felt my heart race as the plane neared La Guardia and I could see the 3 Birchwood Towers jutting up like dominoes. “Forest Hills,” I breathed to the guy sitting next to me, who had coaxed me through the anxiety attack I started to have once the plane hit the storm sent via Chicago to New York. “Terra firma!”


Entry filed under: Forest Hills.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend Joseph Berger to Speak

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. bebe  |  May 28, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    My mom who visits me from Palestine every year is currently in LA.
    When she called me she said she toured Hollywood. She drove through the Beverly Hills mansions, Rodeo drive etc. I asked her how it was as I have never been. She said that after being in new York nothing is really all that impressive. I thought that was impressive.

  • 2. joe  |  May 29, 2008 at 11:55 am



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