Some moments from life lately of winter in Lincoln Park. My camera rarely sits in my hands these days with weekdays spent in an office and weekends spent absorbing some 9-mile, long distance friendships. If my excitement to lounge and edit these pictures communicates anything, it says that I miss it and will make a greater effort to do this very thing more often.
In 2016, Chicago was kind with its fall as it was in 2015. It was warm, lengthy and beautiful. Yet, it certainly didn’t ease us into winter. Winter has come blisteringly quick, with negative degrees approaching in the coming days. I’ll admit that I’m a Lorelai Gilmore-type when it comes to snowfall. However, with sub-zero temperatures, I’m already dreaming up about days in May when the sun stays out just a little longer.
I won’t make this a long but here are some of my “to do’s” for Winter 2017, written to hold myself accountable to do more than simplyread in my apartment:
Pond of my dreams. That is what I would call the South Pond in Lincoln Park. With beautiful paths, overflowing flower bushes and skyline views, there is literally nothing not to love about this space. The only thing stoping me from completely overtaking the South Pond was a group of high school age girls photographing each other in the sculpture. Yet, I managed to steal some of its attention for a picture or two. This city is so breathtaking. And I feel so guilty being here when I could be spending time with my family. Enjoy your time in Chicago. Wise words from my mother who tried to console me after major freak out when returning back to my apartment. Why had I left California so early? What was I to do with myself?
Hard to believe that soon enough I will bid farewell to one of my favorite cities until January. So yes, enjoy my time in Chicago.
Somewhere in the midst of the Lincoln Park zoo – the South Pond is located. It is accessibly via the streets as well but our circumstances seemed to wind us through the zoo. An unplanned adventure that wove us between lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) – to be factual, we only saw a zebra, a kangaroo and a tiger. Side note: what do all those animals do during the winter time? Once we arrived at the spot, jumping photos ensued – in attempts to capture a different kind of “jumping emotion” that usual.
Have you ever discovered a new secret spot on instagram? I follow so many cool creatives who adventure to places that I seek to find. Luckily, GeoTags help a bit in identifying these places to less cool followers such as myself. And so when I caught a glimpse of this beautiful natural oasis with the Chicago skyline as a background, I had to find it. Although I had no idea where exactly the dream spots lie in Lincoln Park. And for all you non-Chicagoans, Lincoln Park is a neighborhood – not just a park. So I had to redundantly google “park in Lincoln Park.” I was directed to a large park in Lincoln Park with little to no idea where my spot was located. After a bit of wide-eyed mindless wandering throughout the park, we found so much more than the singular spot. I might venture to say it is now one of my favorite places in Chi.
The Lincoln Park Nature Walk is one small part of Lincoln Park. With a butterfly garden, flower prairie and museum, it is the perfect place to get lost with a friend or a “more than a friend” type. Luckily, our trip in September coincided with some beautiful flower blooms. I would love to return when the leaves begin to change or during a peaceful snow! The Nature Walk is perfectly located near the Zoo, the Green City Farmer’s Market and the Lake. It is a hidden gem amongst big, shiny Chicago.
What I would do to own one of those apartments! With views of Lake Michigan, the Park and the downtown skyline, they offer every view that Chicago has to offer. After spending quite some time in Chicago’s neighborhoods, I came to the conclusion that I would love to settle in Lincoln Park. When we wandered, elementary cross country teams ran along the path, and parents rode their bicycles with their children. It seemed all so quaint and suburban amidst our urban surroundings.
Citrus Kale Salad from Blue Door Farm Stand in Lincoln Park
Remember in high school when it wasn’t cool to sit alone? It’s a wonderful, wonderful thing to outgrow this idea. To accept your “sitting alone” as a choice rather than a condition. I can tell that this summer is going to be a “sitting alone” type of summer. And for once, I am okay with that. I love to explore. I love to walk. I love to go with the flow. Sometimes these types of activities aren’t for the faint of heart – the kids whose feet get tired after a mile – the kids who get annoyed with Chicago’s summer heat – the kids who ask “are we there yet.”
Walking from the Green City Farmer’s Market to Blue Door, I was overcome with a sense of relief. The relief of not having anyone to guide or to answer to – there was a sense of peace in my solitude. And so I went as I pleased – I found a bar seat at the cutest restaurant with a wonderful kale salad and a whole bunch of tasty-looking desserts, I snapped some pictures, and I leisurely walked another mile to the Red Line stop. I sat alone. And it felt good.
PS. Letting go of this fear of being alone allows me to finally, finally get some content for this bloggity-blog, but it doesn’t solve the problem of making style posts (sorry)