A Stranger in My Own Land

This weekend I had lunch in a strange land — four miles from my house!  Friends of ours contacted us earlier in the week to see if we would be interested in picking up their CSA box at a local farmer’s market on Sunday as they would be out of town.  Free veggies??  Sure!  Who wouldn’t be up for that?  For those not familiar with CSA, it stands for  Community Supported Agriculture.  Basically you buy a “share” of a local farm’s produce and each week you pick up a box filled with whatever is ripe for the picking that week.  This particular farmer’s market was in Logan Square.  Oddly enough, a place that neither me nor my husband remember ever stepping foot in or driving through… even though it is only four miles from the house.

So off we went on our little veggie-gathering adventure.  We took familiar streets but stayed on them longer than we normally do.  What we came across was this absolutely charming and very foreign-feeling neighborhood.  Big wide boulevards led to an adorable center square complete with monument.  It was on the square that the farmer’s market was set up.  After collecting our vegetable box we decided to take a look around this strange land.  We found a great Italian place with outdoor seating for lunch and while sitting there watching the “locals” walk by, we both agreed that it felt like we were on vacation in some foreign city.   We passed a Hispanic 7th Day Adventist Church and a Norwegian Lutheran Church within a block of each other.  We heard many different languages being spoken as we sipped our wine and ate our pizza.  But my favorite oddity of the day: a woman walking down the street with a friend, smoking a cigarette.  On the hand holding the cigarette she wore a rubber glove.  The other hand did not.  What do you think that was about?  Gotta love Chicago!

So next time you need to get away from it all and feel like a vacation — try taking an everyday street just a bit further than you normally do.  You’ll never know what you’ll find!