My daughter posted a cool link to some New York City archives. The link took you to an interactive map that allowed you to click on certain dots in NYC and then render old photos for that spot at a specific time. I knew my mom would love so I shared with her. My mom grew up in what is now known as Crown Heights, Brooklyn. My grandfather owned a grocery store on Franklin Avenue. Mom has been trying to find an old photo. She does not remember the exact address but knows it was right near their homes. Mom grew up on Prospect Place/Franklin Avenue and later Sterling Place/Franklin Avenue. She attended St. Theresas Catholic school and later Erasmus Hall High School.
Sharing the link with her and having her reminisce about where she grew up made me nostalgic for where I grew up. Nope. I am not referring to Connecticut. I am referring to my adored Chicago, IL. I went google mapping and found all the apartments I lived in – Lincoln Park, Lakeview East, Lakeview – all great neighborhoods. I so miss the city. I miss waking on a Sunday and exiting my basemnt apartment in my jammies. I would walk a few houses down to the corner bakery and get fresh baked goodies, a coffee and talk with the owners. I miss the neighborhood feel of the city apartments, the culture, the public transportation, the freedom I had then. Do not get me wrong. I have a good life now but like most I am growing old and feeling nostaglic for days gone by.
Ding-dong ditching with Carol in Lakeview, falling flat on my arse due to my silver loafers, Clubland, Demon Dogs, the El, Century Mall, Ed Debevics, knox blox squares stuck to the ceiling after my 21st birthday party, the huge tub in my basement apartment where we stored the keg for same party, Trudy’s wedding that we drove to in Don’s old car and I sat in oil in the back seat, hitting Christopher over the head with a frying pan for ruining my Bakers Secret, the cockroaches, oh, the cockroaches, Carol screaming as I turned the light on in my bathroom and sent them scurrying to hers, $500 month rent for a 2 bed 2 bath in Lakeview East, the rag tag furniture collection cast off by friends, my mattress we got from Clyde the drug dealer, the guys at the corner store that thought Carol and I were a couple, the same guy who complained to me that she refused to answer him when he spoke to her and me telling him she was deaf, me pretending not to be me to my former landlord when I ran into him months later, carting a full size futon home on the Irving Park bus, walking to Zayres and later nearly killing Carol when I took her with me on another trip stating “its not far”, on and on and on.
Despite all the trauma I experienced during my first five months in Chicago, my life afterwards was good for me. Best thing I did for myself post the loss of my daughter was refusing to live in my parents home and returning to Chicago – with no job, no where to live and $200 in my pocket. If only I had that self belief six months earlier.
Photo below shows, in order from top left to around to right, down and back to bottom left:
- Maternity home, 2130 N. Kenmore, Lincoln Park
- N. Dayton, Lincoln Park
- N. Pinegrove, Lakeview East
- W. Sunnyside, Lakeview
- N. Southport, Lakeview
- W. Sheridan, Lakeview East
Sweet home Chicago.