Several things about Rogers Park which I wanted to mention.
Alderwoman Maria Hadden at the Touhy homeless encampment (rapid rehousing event)
2. The Wild Onion Market co-op, where I am one of the owners, was featured on WBEZ
3. The support campaign for local businesses started yesterday; I went to the kick-off event (and took my mom there). She definitely won’t be able to accomplish the quest of collecting $150 worth of local receipts (having that only $30 of that could be spent on groceries). They gave us reusable shopping bags with a huge pile of advertising materials from the Rogers Park businesses.
There was music, and free coffee and hot chocolate, and crepes with blueberries and chocolate.
4. And we biked both Friday and Saturday! Each time I think it will be the last biking of this season, but each time we get another gift of unseasonable warm weather. Yes, that’s not about Rogers Park, it’s about the lake 🙂
Rogers Park is the fifth best place to live in the USA, according to Money.com. Interestingly, if is the place with the lowest median household income and the highest unemployment rate out of all of the best fifty. I think this says that money is not so important after all.
That’s what they say about Rogers Park:
Few places are as welcoming to different religions, creeds or ethnicities as Rogers Park, an underdog neighborhood located in the northeast corner of Chicago.
Rogers Park is known as the most diverse neighborhood in Chicago, which itself is one of the most diverse cities in the country, and the result is truly something special. Residents often rave about the neighborhood’s multiculturalism and cite that as the foundation of what makes Rogers Park such a unique place. (Its walkability and easy access to public transit don’t hurt, either.)
Devon Avenue, for example, contains the entire world on just a few city blocks. Don’t believe us? Start at the intersection of Devon and Rockwell, an area sometimes referred to as “Little India.” Geometric patterns in yellow and pink pop off the walls of the adjacent South Asian clothing boutique. Head East toward Lake Michigan and you’ll waltz by Indian, Nepalese, Pakistani, Israeli, Cuban and Chinese restaurants serving up a variety of vegetarian, vegan, kosher and halal dishes.
Along the way, you’ll spot a mosque, a temple, a synagogue and a church — one of many signs of the myriad cultures that call Rogers Park home. Continue farther East and you’ll wind up on the campus of Loyola University, a private Jesuit research institution located on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Residents of the tight-knit neighborhood are typically younger and more likely to have a college degree compared to Chicago overall (thanks in part to its proximity to Loyola). Median home prices in Rogers Park, a hair over $200,000, are also notably lower than Chicago — and well below most cities on our list.
I still can’t believe that Lena and I did each and single thing we planned for that weekend! Today, it was raining in the morning, and I thought both our biking and swimming were not going to happen. But the rain suddenly stopped at 6-30 AM, and Lena didn’t leave me an option to think about whether it was too late or too wet – she just emerged out of her room and said that she was going to walk to her car to get her helmet :).
We biked to the “Windmill” and returned to a late breakfast, then went swimming, trying to catch the time before the lifeguards would be in. I was skeptical about swimming at 72F and with no sun, but it was perfect -the water was already so warmed up that even the cool temperatures of the previous two days did not affect it.
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”
Last Wednesday, there was another birthday party in the courtyard – one of the girls in our building turned five, and everybody came down to celebrate. Again, there were cupcakes, and kids running around, and games, and conversations. I talked to the neighbors, telling them again how lucky I feel moving to such a welcoming community. They enthusiastically agreed, and one lady said that she feels like she lives in a bubble. I told her that that’s the word I used to describe my current situation to my friends: it feels not real, and I live in a bubble.
We laughed about it, but it’s true! I can’t say enough how grateful I am for all the neighbor’s help, pieces of advice, and for making me feel at home.
The same neighbor who called it a bubble said: you had to travel all the countries and places to find your home finally!
I talked to the couple from the house next to mine about my future garden. They suggested we come and look at my balcony and draft a plan. While we were busy doing that, a neighbor from the unit next to mone walked out. He said he is going to get a new faucet from Lowe’s
— Not from Home Depot?
— No! No more Home Depot! Do you know how much they donated to Trump’s campaign?
No more questions asked. That’s my neighbors. Offering to look at my bike and to teach me some basic repairs. Asking whether I need something from Morse Market because they are going. Planning my garden. Neighbors who traveled the world. Neighbors who have more books in their homes I ever saw. Celebrating their child’s first birthday at the courtyard and offering cupcakes to all neighbors. Neighbors with all the right signs in their windows.
They say that in the suburbs, you live in a bubble. I feel like I like in a bubble right now :), and soon, I might forget that the rest of the world is not so perfect …
As I already mentioned, the first night in the new place was without the heat, which we all survived. In the morning, Anna went to the Charmer’s Cafe across the street and picked up all the breakfast options she found there :). We all had breakfast around the partially folded dining room table.
Then, John and Kira went back to Milwaukee, and Anna and Nadia stayed to help us with more unpacking and move stuff around. One of the bookshelves had to be delivered to Igor, and empty boxes went to my mom – her move is on May 23. We also asked her to pick up a couple of things from my old house, which we left behind. That ended up being a bad idea, but at that time, I thought we need them. Then the girls left, and Boris and I continued unpacking and finding places for things.
All my new neighbors are exceptionally friendly and helpful. Funny story: it turned out that this lady who “sold” the unit to me by describing the community and how she would never move – she liked me as well! And after our short conversation, she told the other neighbors that she hopes “this nice lady” will buy the place.
We tried to prioritize things that had to be done together before Boris’s departure. That included the things I could not do without him, like assembling a sleeper sofa and agreeing on our “design guidelines.” The only thing we should have done while he was here and we didn’t was hanging one more mirror. With books, we decided that we will just put them on the shelves randomly and will figure out the specific order later.
Most importantly, we agreed on how the living room should look like. I made a point not to insist on something I have in mind but to make sure that that’s what Boris likes as well. For the sunroom, we are still missing the side blinds (this size is out of stock in IKEA for months) and the KALLAX small units (I am almost ready to pay a double price on Amazon, especially now when I realized I do not need three of them, but two at max, or maybe even just one). Anyway – that’s how it looks now:
I moved on Monday, but there is still so much to do that I can’t tell I moved.
The total number of boxes (not counting luggage, bags, etc.) was 155. I am not kidding. One hundred fifty-five. And that’s after tons of things thrown away.
The time window for the movers was from 8-30 to 10, but they came at 11 AM. and loaded the truck till 3-30 PM. When we arrived at my new home, the furnace was not working, and it took me a while to realize that it’s not the ecobee, but the furnace itself. And then, one of our heaters was shutting down the circuit breaker, and then all the outlets in the bedrooms would go off.
Then, the shower in the smaller bathroom stopped working.
But – I moved!!! A million thanks to my family – I don’t know what I would do without them!