Autumn in Chicago: the potpourri of life

I was in Chicago again. Autumn in this city unfolded like an old acquaintance to me.

Miss K and I were staying in a friend’s apartment: 50th floor, downtown Chicago, gorgeous lake view from her window. The doorman, energetic and lively, seemed to know everyone in this plaza. The demographic composition of residents in the building, as I can discern from my elevator sample, is mainly young professionals seeking a metropolitan life along the “magnificent mile”. On my friend’s husband’s book shelf, groups of a banker’s must-haves are lined up like traders in neat suits. A life that so many of my friends are living out.

On the other side of the city, we took a walk along the streets of the “small” Chinatown near Argyle – small in comparison to the better known Chinatown in the southern part of the city. The languages floating on the streets, mainly Vietnamese, Cantonese and other South-Asian languages, are telling of the demographics of the local residents. For a moment, I forgot that I was in America. The neighborhood, as is typical of many minority residential areas in America, displays as a fossil of traces that reflect life, at some point of time, on the other side of the ocean – but not necessarily the concurrent life going on there.

The diversity of big cities like Chicago, segregated into the bright and gray parts, is something that I miss at the college town that I live in. It is more like Beijing, the place that I did my college, where you see a collage of life, in various forms, scrambled in front of you.  Honestly, I would hate enduring the noises. But I marvel at the exposure to the potpourri of life.

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