Thursday, August 24, 2006

45 story 11-mile monstr

George and I had a long and exaustng evnng riting a long and exaustng acount of this long and exaustng day of adventur. Read, my frends, about our jurny into th west side of Chicago in serch of th perfect apartmnt.

George and I rote much of this long and exaustng acount. U hav him to thank especialy for entrys 25 and 26, but his obsesiv atention to detail contributed greatly to th wondr that is this entire long and exaustng acount, including this very paragraf, and especialy th last two clauses of this very sentence.

We began in Tiffany's apartmnt in Lakeview, intent on exploring th neibrhoods of Wicker Park and Ukrainian Village. We pakd tasty lunchs. George brot a list of afordabl places he found online, and I brot my map, wich I markd up rathr thoroly thruout th day.

Upon returnng home, I made an anotated map for this blog. U may refer to it as u read. Th map begins and ends with CTA bus rout 9, wich travls Ashland av:



1 .. Th frendly bus driver (he askd us for "action movi" recmendations; George sujestd The Professional and I sujestd Snakes on a Plane. I agreed with him that Hostel wasn't so good.) dropd us off at N Ashland av and W North av, and so our jurny began.

2 .. Aftr going south for a wile for no aparnt reasn, George and I actuly tryd to read our map and decided to go north-west on N Milwaukee av. This wud take us into Wicker Park, one of our areas of intrest.

3 .. Things realy got neat at this intrsection of thre big roads. We returnd to this strech later on. Som things we observd:

.. Bill's Shoes
.. Reckless Records
.. clubs, clothing shops, cafes, a wine bar, a used book store
.. yung "hip-lookng" peple
.. a shirtless bum shaking his chanj-cup (mony-maker?)
.. electric gitar sounds emnatng from a windo abov a clothng stor

4 .. We went south on N Damen av for a bit. We thot we'd take it south for a wile longr, but we chanjd our minds and startd squarely zig-zagng westwardly, startng on W Le Moyne st.

5 .. Went north on N Leavitt st.

6 .. Went west on W North av. (Wy dos North av. travl from east to west and not north to south? George and I hav pondrd this, and concluded (sort of) that a North av slicing thru th south side of a town makes considrbly less sense than a North av crossng thru th north side.)

7 .. Went south on N Claremont av.

8 .. West west on W Le Moyne st.

9 .. Went north on N Western av.

10 .. Went west on W North av. At this point, we observd feelngs of (1) hungr, (2) fatig, and (3) thirst. We had brot sandwichs for a picnic, and pland to sit and eat them in Humboldt Park, thus aleviating problms 1 and 2. Howevr, we hadn't prepared for problm 3, and we began scourng W North av for bevrajs.

11 .. Hooray! We found bevrajs! And, to boot, th helpful Chicagoan clerk gave us frendly advice, upon hearng of th natur of our quest.

Clerk: "O, New Yorkers, lookng for apartmnts, eh? Wel, then, take my frendly advice, New Yorkers! Take a look ryt outside my fine convenient store-typ establishmnt, and u wil find, yes, a syn, and not just any syn, o no, but a syn displayng information about an apartmnt for rent at this very spot! Can u imajin it??"

George: "Cool, thanks, man."

Andrew: "Yes, cool, cool I say! And thank u, kind sir!"

Wel, somthing like that. We weren't sure of th exact quotations, but we did our best to get it down exactly as we herd it.

12 .. We travld one blok south on N Maplewood av, took a peek down th next blok (to note fone numbrs of apts ther), and then continud west on W Le Moyne st.

13 .. Wat a lovly day for a picnic, I say! Wat a horibl park for anything. We wer duly unimpresd with Humboldt Park, but it was nice to sit and nice to eat. And who dosn't lov a lagoon?

14 .. Th next leg of our jurny (noted in purpl, just because), began with a lot of going south on N California av thru a neibrhood of which we wern't very fond. It was disgustngly hot in th sun, and this misrabl street ofrd litl shade, so aftr a bit we took refuje on W Thomas st, hedng east.

15 .. Went south on N Washtenaw st.

16 .. Went east on W Augusta blvd.

17 .. Took a brief excursion two bloks south on N Campbell av, then returnd to W Augusta. We wer chekng out places we'd noted on Craigslist.

18 .. Went south on N Western av.

19 .. Went east on W Rice st, lookng for an apartmnt we'd seen listd. It lookd like an awful place to liv, so we crosd it off our list.

20 .. Chekd somthing out a blok up on N Oakley av, also not very inspiring.

21 .. Now in th hart of Ukrainian Village, we walkd west, then east on W Chicago av for quite som time, noting that it was a relativly cool and hapnng place that smeld a lot like clean laundry. Then I became thirsty again. (I don't think it was th smel of clean laundry that brot th thirst about, but it myt be somthing to look into). So we slid into a cute and neat Ukrainian bakery. I bot anothr botl of watr, in this case, a cheap and delicius import that cost me 55 cents. Th Ukrainian (George thot perhaps they wer Polish because ther was a Polish daily newspaper availbl. Neithr of us ar geograficly talentd enuf to be sure of this.) girls workng ther wer cute. We noted this. George said th cashir gave me a "look". Th meanng behind th look remains unverifyd.

22 .. On N Wood st, we came across an apartmnt that George had orijnaly discovrd on craigslist that seemd too good to be tru. We cald imediatly and left a mesaj. This is th only place we cald. Th price was lo, th location was great, th house lookd real cute on th outside, and we cudn't figur out wat was rong with it. We stil havn't figurd it out.

23 .. We continud going north on N Wood st for a wile, and loopd around W Crystal st, N Hermitage av, W Ellen st, a nice neibrhood with nice houses.

24 .. Went north-west on N Wicker Park av, north-east on N Wolcott av, and north-west on N Milwaukee (our only jenuin zig-zag), returnng for mor adventur to a street we had previusly enjoyd (and/or enjoyd previusly. George and I cudn't decide wich).

25 .. We restd in a silvr bildng (with a silvr ceilng) wich seemd to be a cafe...George was impresd by the music this bildng emitd, as it remindd him of th music wich the bildng in wich he was employd as a barista bak in New York also emitd.

It impresd him paticulrly that th music playd here included such songs as those included on th albm cald "Entertainment" by th band cald "Gang of Four," ovr wich he had so obsesd during th week prior to our curnt adventur.

I enjoyd a multi-citrus smoothy (four dolrs and thirty cents), George a larj cup of cofee (one dolr and ninety cents).

On th way out, we noted th name of th cafe: Filter.

26 .. Movng on aftr a delytful rest, we encountrd a youth, maybe 18 or 19 years old, whom som myt describe as a "gutr-punk", blond, wearng a Metallica "Master of Puppets" t-shirt. He dond an acustic, poorly tuned gitar.. He ofrd us a performance. For one dolr, he cud play Slayer, naming at least thre songs that he new...At first we refused, but th lyt was red at North av and Damen av, and George aparently has a soft spot in his hart for such kids, havng worn such t-shirts and playd such songs and befrendd such folk himself many many years ago....so George askd if said youth cud play th song cald "South of Heaven"...as th yung man made sevrl il-advised atempts at th song befor stumblng into somthing completely incorect, George told th story of his eith grade talent sho, in wich he and his frends wer to play said Slayer song, but wer discurajd by a teachr, who sujestd they myt play "What I Like About You" by The Romantics, wich they did. Th gitar-slingr wondrd aloud, "Wow, how do you go from Slayer to that?!"...George gave th kid a dolr and gave him encurajng words as th lyt turnd green and we continud on our way north on Damen av.

27 .. Went east on W Cortland st.

28 .. Went south on N Winchester av.

29 .. Went east on W Wabansia av.

30 .. Went north on N Wolcott av. (stil too expensiv presumably, and, indeed, not for rent anyway).

31 .. Went east on W Cortland av.

32 .. Around Cortland and Hermitage we receivd a welcom cal from Lane (Lain? We puzl ovr th spelng of her name. Wich is prety ironic, wen u think about it.) She owns th apartmnt we droold ovr on N Wood st (se # 22). She wantd to sho us th apartmnt! We wantd her to sho it to us! So we aranjd a sho-ing for 5:45, forty-five minuts from that very momnt. George and I delytd to travl southward (on N Hermitage av).

33 .. Went east on W North av.

34 .. Went south on N Paulina st. George gave directions to sombody lost and lookng for Starbucks (not that George wud evr go to Starbucks!). George is oficialy a Chicagoan now.

35 .. Mor square zig-zags take us east on W Julian st.

37 .. (Yes, I no, I skipd th numbr 36 on th map. I am a fool.) Went south on N Wood st and east on W Beach av.

38 .. Went south on N Paulina st, stopng to chek out th adorabl N Dean st, wich sliced between Beach and Paulina.

39 .. Returnd briefly to N Milwaukee av befor hedng south-west on on a curvy part of N Paulina st.

40 .. We crosd Division for th third and final time on foot. This was a neat street, but we nevr actuly spent any time chekng it out today. Anothr time, I gess. We continud south on N Hermitage av.

41 .. With one blok to go and no moment to spare, we turnd onto W Pearson st and finaly onto N Wood st, wher we met Lane (Lain?) and "se" our first Chicago aparmnt.

42 .. Th apartmnt seemd wondrful. We had no complaints. We wer realy thrild about it, actuly, and fild out aplications. Th landlady was quite nice, th inside plesnt and bryt, th outside wel-kept and cheerful, and George and I had no idea wy th rent was so lo. I gess it's because th bedrooms wer rathr tiny, but we decided we didn't care about that. Anyway, Lane (Lain?) said she'd cal us bak by Friday, and in th meantime, we'r keepng our fingrs crosd. Lov us, Lane (Lain?), lov us!

43 .. So, satisfyd, we imediatly agreed to go home. Home, in this case, being Tiffany's apartmnt, wher we'r stayng for th week. We saw th neibrhood difrently, thinkng that it cud soon be our neibrhood. (north on N Wood st, east on W Walton st.)

44 .. Went north on N Ashland av to th bus stop.

45 .. As George and I sat restng our feet and waitng in th bus sheltr, a pik-up truk puld up drivn by a persn we thot to be a "blond bomshel". Was this our bus? George joked. But it was not. Th womn walkd from her car to th Chinese restrant next to th sheltr and askd if we'd evr eatn ther. She raved. Mostly about th food. I utrd som sentence with too many words in it thru th plastic wal as she walkd away. Wen she came bak out, she lamentd that th restrant was closed on Christmas. We ofrd words of sympathy, and aftr she went on about it for a bit and thankd us for humorng her, George heroicly chanjd th subject to our potential move to th area. We agreed that th restrant in question wud be worth exploring in th futur, and at about that moment, th actul bus came to take us away. George encurajd her to enjoy her dinr, wich we suspect she did. Th bus took us bak to Tiffany's blok (way too north for this map), and we almost imediatly began riting this long and exaustng acount.

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