It's been did.
I just finished running (well, more like a light canter and walking combo) around my neighborhood and I can't begin to tell you how nice it felt. It didn't even phase me that I was so out of shape I could barely run four blocks without panting and wheezing. The only thing that mattered was that I was free...free...FREE from the shackles of a cruel Chicago winter (they say it was one of the worst).
Apparently, the thermometer has actually inched up to 70...and I can really tell.
Chicago in spring/summer is just an entirely different species from Chicago in winter. As I jogged, I saw people who clearly had just emerged from their cocoons spun out of doldrums and general winter misery. Like fragile, gilded butterflies, they emerged tentatively at first, unsure whether they should trust this apparent mirage of sunshine and warmth. Then, upon the realization that this was no illusion, their faces lit up, beacons of brightness and hope.
Ok, maybe it wasn't that dramatic, but I definitely saw a difference in people's gait, faces, and general vibes. People are wearing shorts and flip-flops, strolling through their neighborhoods, and just soaking in all the sun.
This sudden onslaught of spring-like temperatures would not be as special if it wasn't for my neighborhood. I LOVE my neighborhood. In fact, I would not want to live anywhere else in Chicago.
The more residential streets in my hood are paved with picturesque houses that are anything but cookie-cutter. Little kids play out on in their tiny front yards and say hello as you walk by. Moms and nannies with strollers abound.
On the more retail-oriented streets, there are so many cute little boutiques that sell a vast array of items. There is this store called "Doggy-style" that sells all things pet-related. Coco Rouge sells fine chocolates. Milk and Honey is a popular brunch/breakfast spot, famous for their homemade granola. The list goes on and on.
One of my favorite streets in my neighborhood is Division. This street is unique in that its sidewalks are abnormally large, allowing many restaurants and bars to spill out onto the sidewalks. The patio seating at these establishments are highly coveted spots and are often filled to the brim with Chicagoans determined to take advantage of every warm day and evening. Wine drinking (and lots of beer drinking), chatting with friends, and prime people-watching are the sports of choice on Division.
A true sign of living in a great neighborhood...never really wanting to leave. If we're in the mood for good sushi, there's a place for that. If we want an upscale tequila bar that makes amazing margaritas, there is a place for that. If we want to meet up friends at a dive bar, there's a place for that. If we want to take Yoga classes, there's an app (oops, I mean a place) for that. If we want to check out a local band, there's a place for that. If we want a BYOB restaurant, there are a hundred places for that. If we want to buy a cool, unique outfit, there are a million places for that. ;)
So enough gushing. I can't wait for all my out of town friends (and my family!) to come visit us this summer (May is already booked!) so I can show off my neighborhood in person. Maybe I can convince them all to move here...at least for the summers.
7 years ago