Shiny, Happy People… or something like that

Ten years ago, I moved to Chicago from Southern California.  Although excited about the move, I was a little apprehensive.  I thought I was leaving the laid-back, friendly Southern California lifestyle for life in the big, impersonal city.  I could not have been more wrong!  Everyday life in Chicago has a much more friendly, neighborhoody, invested feel than I ever experienced on the West Coast.  Case it point:  my last 24 hours (condensed, obviously!):

Yesterday was Wednesday, and as any loyal reader knows (yes, all 4 of you!), that means my weekly trip to the Green City Market.  I get there by walking (something, I might point out, one never did in Southern California).  On my way there, I passed neighbors watering their plants, shopkeepers opening up their stores and sweeping off their entrances.  Everyone had a wave or a “good morning” to share.  I’m especially amazed by the owner of a neighborhood tavern by us called Tavish.  My husband and I go there, but certainly not regularly and we probably haven’t been in several months.  But you know what?  He knows us.  He knows we live in the neighborhood, so therefore he always waves and asks how I’m doing.

As I continued my journey to the market, I walked by the Lincoln Park Zoo.  Along the outskirts of the zoo is the enclosure for the wolves.  They are a timid bunch, and are rarely seen unless you take the time to really search them out in the underbrush or in their rock caves.  Yesterday morning, two of them were sitting on the rocks sniffing the morning air.  They glanced my way… and although I realize it is sheer coincidence… one nodded.  I know better, but I’d like to think he was acknowledging me with his own symbolic tip of the hat.  At least it fits this blog post, so work with me!

After purchasing my fruits and veggies at the market I made a beeline to my favorite baker for my Wednesday morning ritual (see previous post) of a brioche roll.  This time, I didn’t have to order!  The baker looked at me and asked “The usual?”  Very cool.

Fast forward to today.  I took a trip to my regular butcher shop, Paulina Meat Market.  Words cannot express how much I adore this place.  I have basically given up buying meat anywhere else.  It is totally old school and fantastic.  I walked in and as I approached the counter one of the butchers looks up, smiles and says “Hiya Hon…how were those ribs for the 4th?”  Again, very cool… and by the way… they were amazing.

Finally, although this last item doesn’t really fit this post, it certainly fits the overall theme of this blog and serves for my daily QuickQi.  I returned home from the butcher shop and took a minute to water the plants in the front of our house.  Three doors down there was a landscaping company working on replanting my neighbor’s front and balcony.  One of the gardeners walked over, said hello and then asked me “Who did your balcony?”.  With a wide smile I replied: “I did”!  Thank you very much!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. hopsack
    Jul 20, 2011 @ 17:26:42

    While I would agree the So Cal lifestyle is ‘friendly’ and ‘laid back’ there’s no real depth of connecivity – something you’re fortunate to have found and even more so to take pleasure in.

    Reply

  2. Trackback: Morning Glory « Donna's Quick Qi

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