10 January 2011

0 trenchant

i walk to and from church once a month. try too, at least. it doesn't always happen, but when it does, the whole world seems to open up.

when you do not have a car, there is a temptation to stick to the streets you know. to cut routes into the city like trenches. this yields a sense of safety that i do not enjoy. because there is a particular pleasure to be found in discomfort. in the ugly. in the things one might otherwise miss.

i've done this since hyde park. stuck to patterns. followed routes of my own devising. i have never  been one to wander. when my parents would come to town, we'd drive around in their car and it was though the world expanded three-fold. all because we took 47th street instead of 46th.

i make an effort to do this now. to take different routes. to walk on streets that i have not yet walked in my four and three quarter years in chicago. because this is how you find things. how you begin to really know where you are.

this deviation is what brings me to the two men sleeping under the kennedy underpass on webster. this is how i find ray's bbq bucktown, by reservation only. and the 90 mile cuban cafe at the intersection of armitage and some street i never even knew existed.

there is a power that comes with being on your feet. with living in the city. with stretching your leg muscles. with walking. if you look around, if you really look, you can see anything at all.

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