Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring in the City

Spring creeps tentatively into Chicago after a long winter. Even with the few days we’ve had in the 70’s and 80’s, it’s hard to trust that the good weather is here to stay. Years ago, it snowed once during the first week in May. Not fair! But people who live here learn to grab the gift of a beautiful day and enjoy it to the fullest. On the first sunny 45-degree day, the shorts and flip-flops come out. By the time it gets to 60, the beaches of Lake Michigan are filled with people enjoying the sun.

Some signs of spring are the same as in the suburbs. They are merely surrounded by a different setting. Daffodils are blooming, trees are budding out, and colorful flower pots are appearing on doorsteps and porches. Windows are being thrown open. The smell of outdoor grilling has begun to waft through the air.

There are other things about spring in Chicago that have a more unique flavor to the city. Storefronts and sidewalks are being freshened up with soap and/or new paint. There are so many more people on the city streets just enjoying being outside. The doors into many businesses are propped open to let in the fresh air. Window-washing is underway at high rise buildings. Snow plows have made way for street sweepers. Baseball season has brought out all the Cubs wear, especially in this neighborhood. Sidewalk cafes are opening, as well as the trendy rooftop lounges. Soon, on warm evenings, we’ll hear talk and laughter from the back porches of our building.

Ron grilled on the porch last night for the first time this season, making a delicious Mexican-flavored skirt steak. We’ve turned off the heat and have been able to sleep with the windows open for the last week. It may even be time to put away winter clothing and bring out some spring things. I can’t wait for an opportunity to eat pizza on the sidewalk at Pizza Rustica (pictured right), with the el train clattering by almost overhead. And I may have to go shopping for a bright new frock to debut at the latest, most trendy rooftop lounge.

There’s something about spring in Chicago that feels SO DARN GOOD! I think we enjoy it more here, after struggling through the long, cold, gray winter.  Time to dig out my shorts and flip-flops.

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