14 October 2008

9 HP


we don't hang out in hyde park much. i should say at all. if the 12 miles to evanston feel like a day trip to canada, the 9 miles to hyde park might as well be a pilgrimage to the moon.

yeah, the doc shows great movies. the oriental has fabulous lectures. the museum of science and industry is effing awesome. and yet we never go. because hyde park is too far away. you can see gary from there and that can't be good.

when we lived in hyde park, with handclaps of glee we would talk about "going to town," because The City was exciting. it was also something of a demanding ordeal, requiring buses and trains and quarters and long walks to reach and then taxis to return home. because we were in hyde park and hyde park is at the other end of the world. public transit doesn't go there after 10 p.m.

this sounds ridiculous, i know. it's 9 miles. but my life is lived in a tiny box that extends 2.7 miles west (to church), 4.1 miles south (to h+m), 1.5 miles north (to the metro) and 2 blocks east (to the lake). and in such a miniature world, 9 miles seems like a hell of a lot.

today i discovered that it actually isn't. and that if you have a solid mastery of public transit, hyde park is kind of right there.

how naive i was 5 years ago. i vividly remember walking to/from classes in that fall of 2003, with $87 in the bank, the leaves on the ground, the blue sky stretched above, and the wind whipping the long hair i had already decided to cut off. everything seemed so huge. and limitless.

now that The City is home, hyde park seems smaller. quieter. boxier. which, it turns out, is bizarrely alluring. just two hours there made me want to get married and have four dogs and ten kids and be one of those people who toss a dismissive fey hand northward and say in suspiciously british tones, we don't GO into the CITY, as though city were a dirty word.

because, let's face it, hyde park is kind of awesome. seriously. as i sat in classics sipping my cafe au lait, i couldn't help but marvel. how can such a small place hold all those huge brains... and so many emo kids.

9 comments:

Unknown said...

ten kids????

oline said...

i thought that would sufficiently distract you into accepting my four dogs.

paper wren said...

sweet sweet hyde park, oh how i miss you.

mellow yellow, salonica's, botony pond, the coop, medici's, powell's, original pancake house, blackstone ave., the snail, the reg, 57th, hyde park art center, even jimmy's, i miss all of it.

Especially the people who co-habitated hp with me...

oline said...

we really ate well that year!

Meggie said...

I don't think people can afford 10 kids anymore... Imagine how much money you would spend on diapers and formula and toys. Imagine what it would be like when all of your sanity left you around kid 2 and yet you kept popping them out.

Osutein said...

I was just down there a couple of weeks ago with a friend who wanted to see the Oriental Institute. It was weird being back. It is a world away and does definitely make our current Chicago boxes (mine smells of borscht) seem much bigger in comparison.

I've tried putting me feelings about Hyde Park down before, but it always gets muddled. Because I live in the same damn city, yet whenever I go down there it feels weirder and more nostalgia-filled than, say, Charleston or even Tsushima. More removed. Maybe because MAPH was such a spectacularly weird little year, a year that doesn't really connect with much before or after. I spent two years on a remote Asian island and MAPH still counts as the weirdest year of my life. I blame Ragin' Cajun personally. Being able to get fried okra and chicken tikka in one place does something to your head.

Osutein said...

All of which, by the way, was my way of saying, "well said."

Les Savy Ferd said...

Hyde Park? Who still goes to Hyde Park? I mean seriously.

oline said...

you're the only one i know who does.