Summer 2018

Labor Day is behind us and Fall is approaching.  It is still warm and the trees haven’t she their leaves yet but we are in the last days of Summer 2018.  I had a great summer this year.  I got to do some travelling.  I didn’t go anywhere exotic but I did get to see some place new and some new things about a place that is very familiar to me.

This summer I had the chance to visit the city of Chicago.  I had been to the airports in Chicago twenty or thirty times in my life but I actually got out and explored the city for the first time last month.  I visited my friend Brice that moved there a few years ago.  I had a lovely time.

Chicago was a lot more dense than I was expecting.  I knew it was big but I thought it would be a large urban sprawl like other Midwestern cities.  I thought Chicago was the kind of town where everyone, even those of modest means had a lawn.  I was wrong.  Chicago is a dense city and most people live in apartments or walk up houses.  I didn’t see any watered lawns or backyard vegetable gardens.  Chicago is a concrete jungle.  It feels a lot like New York.

My friend and I went to the beach on Lake Michigan on a hot Saturday afternoon.  I hadn’t been to a beach in ages and it was great.  I’m not much of an outdoorsy kind of a person so I’m not picky when it comes to beaches.  The one I visited in Chicago might be my favorite because it’s a lot closer than travelling to the coast or the Caribbean.

I visited the Willis also known as Sears Tower.  It was OK.  Getting to the top of the tower was just like visiting everything else that’s like that.  It’s just like going to Reunion Tower in Dallas or the GM headquarters in Detroit.  It’s a nice view.  The most extraordinary thing about Willis Tower was the lines.  There were about five of them and they were all very long.  There is a long line to get out of the tower too.  I wasn’t ready.  I just wasn’t prepared at all.  If you go pack a bottle of water and a little snack.  Fortunately, I happened to have both in my bag.

Chicago left a few lasting impressions.  There are a lot of Dunkin’ Donuts there.  A hole lot.  (Ha ha)  I thought that maybe their corporate headquarters were in Chicago but it is actually in Massachusetts.  Chicago is just a donut loving town.  Chicagoans are my kind of people.

There are also a lot of really beautiful Black women in Chicago.  A whole lot.  They were everywhere.  On the trains.  At the beach.  Working at Dunkin’ Donuts they were just everywhere ranging in age from the teen years to, it’s hard to tell with Black women.

Later on in August I visited my hometown of Detroit.  My family planned a reunion, cancelled it, didn’t tell me but I already bought a plane ticket.  So I went and had my own reunion with a small group of family and friends.

I stayed with a few friends that live in eastern suburbs of Detroit.  They took me to some places I had never been.  I visited Eastern Market on Saturday and we had a great time.  That’s a farmers market with a few antique shops.  It was pretty cool and I bought two vintage dresses and an authentic Chauncy Billups Pistons jersey.

Detroit is really a beautiful town.  You just have to like colorful, rough or unfinished industrial beauty.  And people are really nice and down to Earth.  I’ve lived in Kansas City for twenty years now and I’ve often thought people in Detroit are nicer than people in the plains.  This trip confirmed that.  Detroiters are nicer, more outgoing and have more swag than folks in the plains.  I’m glad I’m from there.

river front

I had a lovely summer thanks to two of the scariest cities in America.  Both are notoriously violent but I came across many lovely strangers.  Both upper Midwest cities are beautiful in their own way and there is a lot to see and do.  If you’ve never been either place you should make plans to visit.

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