Sunday, July 25, 2010

Promises Promises

listening to this as I write.  Play it in the background, it'll help.
Here it is!  That thing that for weeks I have been teasing--an actual blog post.  I know, I know, hold back your shocked faces and the sounds they will inevitably be making.  I fully understand the amount that I have been lying to you, oh blogosphere.  As my darling Kyle once described it, I am "very blogopointed" with my own self.  What can I say, the writing slash creative juices just haven't been flowing in the blog direction lately.  At some point, I felt like a broken record--blah blah blah I hate living in California blah blah blah I can't remember to take a picture everyday blah blah I am super lame and sad blah.  And while I am not in this sad place anymore (for god's sake, it is summer in California.  How can one be sad when it is so flipping magical and lovely outside?), I am still wrestling with these things.  Apparently they are my cross to bear whilst living at home, until I move somewhere else and they morph into other things that I'll have to grapple with.  ANYWAY, that's enough of that.  On to things promised...

And let me first make a side comment about the comments on this little bloggy blog.  Hi there, Chinese comment posters.  Thanks for, you know, taking the time.  I have no idea how you came to this little rantfest or why you feel the need to comment on everything I post a) in chinese and b) with an English language cliche, but I must say that I sorta like it, even if it is a way to spam my gmail account with emails about sexy married ladies in my area or whatever wonderdrug is the most popular.  Every time I see the comments it puts a smile on my face and I feel sort of like I am living in a Dan Brown novel as I run to to find out what thing you've said.  You keep the bliggity blog interesting for me, so welcome and thanks.

Ok, NOW the things I promised.  Actually, not really, as my brother went out with his friends on his birthday and all I did was pick him up at 1 am when he was too pissed to drive.  I love being the older sister.  It seemed like he had a lovely time, so no harm, no foul (and no fowl).

Here is something exciting--I WENT TO CHICAGO.  And it. was. MAGICAL.  I loved every single second of it, and it wasn't just because I was with two of my very favorite ladies (though that certainly helped).  It was because I actually LOVED Chicago, which totally surprised me.  And why, do you ask?  Because I am incredibly snooty when it comes to cities.  Obviously, if you have met me or read anything that has ever been written here, you know that my heart belongs to New York City.  It is my happy place.  In my opinion, all other cities pale in comparison.  Seattle is lovely, but totally not my bag.  San Francisco is nice, but I would rather die than drive in a city and I find the whole vibe to be an anathema to my entire being (geez, Ashleigh, tell us how you really feel....).  Don't even get me started on Los Angeles. Ugh times a million.  I like Boston just fine, it is the city of (some of) my ancestors and the Red Sox, which obviously means it is awesome (plus, the duck thing makes it adorable).  I've been all over and never had the same reaction as I did when I came to New York for the first time.  Here, let me paint you a picture:

Imagine 17 year old Ashleigh, all awkward and studded belts, in a cab for the first time in her life, with her Boston-raised artist mother.  We pulled up to Washington Square Park, just behind Bobst Library, paid the guy (cash only, remember?) and stepped out of the cab onto the dirty New York City street.  The sights and sounds of the city filled my eyes and ears and lit a little fire in my soul.  I instantly loved every single thing about it.  A huge smile lit across my face and I said, "Ok, I could do this."  I didn't even need to see anything else, I just knew.  The city had already made its mark on my heart and I spent the next 3 years trying to get there (which, after a brief stint in Seattle, I did).

No city since then has had the same effect on me...until Rachel and I pulled onto I-45 in Chicago.   

I just knew I loved it.  My heart smiled.  And then the entire weekend, no matter where we went, I kept having the same feeling.  A feeling of home.  A feeling of comfort.  A feeling of community, which I know seems impossible in a city with so many people, but it is what I have always felt in New York City--we are all in this together (cue horrible Disney music).  It is what I love about New York City-that even when it is freaking freezing or 10,000 degrees outside and you are miserable you look around you on the subway and everyone else is miserable too.  We're all miserable together, which is something I don't get in California, where, like everywhere including cities, you have to sit in traffic but here you are alone in your car on the highway and you have absolutely no connection to the people around you, even though you are all doing the same thing (at least that is how I feel).  And in Chicago, I felt this connection, to people I had never even seen  before and will probably never meet.  And I felt inspired (it's a beautiful city) and full of light.  And I haven't felt that way in a long time.  It was a really fantastic trip.  Here are a few pictures from our adventures.

On our architectural boat tour.  Obviously doing a classic boat pose.
Beautiful ladies on our boat tour.  With provisions, of course.
Sears Tower.
Marissa with Billy Shakespeare.
Walking around Chicago.
Rachel and the big buildings.
Leaving the city, back to Ohio.
I think that's enough for now.  My heart is happy and full.  More sharing to come.

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