Let me begin with a disclaimer. I’m biased. I live in Andersonville, I love Andersonville and I love my surrounding neighborhoods. Truth be told, I’m a former long-time resident of Lakeview and most of my friends reside in the understandably popular and desirable neighborhoods of Lincoln Park and Roscoe Village. Heck, I won’t think twice about trekking down to my old stomping grounds for sushi at Sai Café or to catch a show at The Vic. But I have to say, after 5 years living “north of Irving”, I have come to truly appreciate and relish the unique community in which I live, work and play.
This past Sunday, a beautiful and unseasonably warm Sunday in May, was the kind of day which stokes those feelings. I feel like I could have written one of those “3 Perfect Days in fill in the blank” articles – with a slight modification. How about “3 Perfect Hours in the 47th Ward”?
Ironically, there was nothing particularly surprising about the itinerary that unfolded for my husband, my almost 3-year-old daughter, Rachel and me – lunch at Potbelly’s; browsing at Lollipop Seeds (to which we made an unexpected return after we inadvertently left my daughter’s beloved Doggy behind – thank god he was still there!); my very first experience at Gene’s Sausage Shop (who knew they had so very much more than fare for the meat-eaters?!); frozen yogurt at Yogurt Square; then over to Winnemac Park playground to finish off the day. But the highlight? Bubbles. Not just any old bubbles – but endless, overflowing, sudsy bubbles in the Lincoln Square fountain.
Perhaps it was the whimsy it evoked, the seemingly “out of place-ness” of it, the cool feeling of scooping up the suds and letting them wash away in the cold stream of water, or maybe the wonder and excitement in my little one’s eyes as well as the cute thing she did with her lips when trying to blow them off her fingers. But it drew me in. The bubbles seemed to draw everyone in, young and old alike.
For me, the bubbles in the fountain represented the uniqueness of our community. How we seem to have things here that are just a little more one of a kind than in other neighborhoods. Witnessing all of the people, their friends and family, enjoying the day in Lincoln Square, I was reminded how the richness, diversity and bonds of our community make this a place where I’d like to live more than anywhere else. Yes, it really was 3 Perfect Hours in the 47th Ward.
I am, however, left with a burning question. How did those bubbles make it into the fountain anyway? Actually, if you know, don’t tell me. The mystery makes it all just a little more special.