i love my street. i hate the international hostel.
in theory, it's very exotic and jet setty and all that jazz. in reality, it's annoying as all get out. i now routinely cross the street to avoid it.
the international hostel is like little europe. and i do like europe. i dance to gogol bordello and went to italy and shopped in kiev and learned latin. i just didn't quite expect to find little europe in the middle of lincoln park.
it's all because of the bleachers. there's a drop between the hostel's yard and the sidewalk that acts as an instant viewing stand. from this vantage point, there are always at least three people, usually men, sitting and smoking and playing checkers. as if the bleachers weren't enough, occasionally three or four chairs materialize as well. so there are sometimes upwards of 15 seated people taking in the view (a tally that doesn't include those milling in doorways and leaning out windows).
having never participated in a beauty pageant, i can only surmise that it must feel something like walking past the hostel at 6 PM on a saturday afternoon. there are shouts of american baby! ummm! hot american stuff! aha! american baby! oooooh! hot american gul! you! hot american gul!
the first time i walked past was a bad hair day so this was midly flattering. after that, not so much. now i'm always armed: sunglasses on, upod cranked up, speedwalking and staring straight ahead.
although they're often wearing wife-beaters from the old world, there are quite frequently some rather attractive people at the hostel. it's a pity the only words they learned in english class were hot, american, baby, girl, stuff. because that makes for one really gross sentance.