Yesterday was a perfect day. A perfect first-summer-day, a day when I know why I moved to Rogers Park and what I love here.
It started from the long bike ride, and the sun is now up early enough for me to start biking at 5-15. I entered the Lake Front Trail at 5-35, and it already looked busy with people walking their dogs and talking to each other, joggers, and biking groups.
I had breakfast on my balcony, and then I had a very productive workday. During my lunch break, I went to the beach, lay on the sand, listened to the waves, and walked in the crystal clear water.
And then, my neighbors messaged me that they could help me to pick up the plants, and I got on Uber and went to the nursery and picked the plants.
The evening was balm, and I worked until 9 PM and could plant everything and clean up almost everything. So now my summer life is going to be perfect.
It would be a perfect day, if not for one thing.
In the morning, when I stopped to wait for a green light at the corner of Broadway and Granville, I saw a neatly dressed older man picking in the garbage. When I started crossing, I saw that he had a bun in his hand, and he was hurriedly eating it while crossing.
I think that Sunday was most likely the last beach day of this year, although nobody can tell for sure. And the Lake gave me two wonderful gifts: I had a chance to observe a sunrise from the very first second, and I had a chance to soak myself in the lake in the afternoon. I think that the last time I swam outdoors in September was in 1968, being on vacation near Sochi.
Several days ago, I saw a post on NextDoor: How Fortunate are we to live in Rogers Park! We are, indeed, and “the Lakefront is out backyard”
At some point, Anna expressed a concern that the beach’s proximity will alter her daughter’s priorities in Chicago and that instead of the “museum Baba” I will become a “beach Baba.” And indeed, the first request was about going to the beach. The girls arrived late on Friday, and Saturday morning, we headed to the beach straight after breakfast.
We spent about three hours at the beach, the girls mostly playing on the shore and in the shallow water. I was helping them to build the sandcastles and used the opportunity to go deeper into the water while there were no lifeguards on duty.
Also, we had snacks in Ropa Cabana (seen on the background), a new beach food stand run by one enthusiastic couple.
I thought it is going to be a beach every day, but after that, we took a deep dive into the cultural experience!
I can’ recall being at the beach at 9-30 in the morning since I was 5 years old:). It was great; the beach was empty when we came, and there were waves, and sun, and the water was clean, and everything was perfect
On Sunday, I finally made it to the Loyola beach. I need to internalize the fact that the beach is just 10 minutes walk from my house and that I can walk there when I have an hour or even less. I never lived like that and never had that luxury.
The beach was very crowded, but the water was almost ice-cold, and most people were like me: standing with their feet in the water and deciding between “since I already spent time coming here” and “there is the whole summer ahead of us.”
I ended up dipping into the cold water just for a couple of seconds and jumped out, still being very proud of myself:) And then, I laid down on a blanket for a little bit and absorbed the sun, the proximity of the sand, and the sounds of summer around me.