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.