CHICAGO (O'Hare Airport, gate G20 waiting for Des Moines flight)--A glorious air tour of Chicago's North Side this morning--where I grew up--aboard an American Airlines flight from Washington. I'm at the start of an Iowa political roadtrip through Sunday. I hope you will keep me company on this blog.
I've lived in Washington since the end of 1993, but I am from Chicago. If you could hear me read this sentence out loud you would hear my accent. (Hard a on accent.) Today's approach to O'Hare--cruising over Byrn Mawr from the lake to the airport-- reminded me how you can live someplace for years but the place you were raised is home.
The approach was over Lake Michigan. The higher part of the sky was hazy but the view was clear.
The aircraft turned towards the lake started near downtown. The plane was flying north to Byrn Mawr. I looked further north up the lakefront and saw the Bahai Temple in Wimette in the distance to get oriented.
But Byrn Mawr! This is Sweet street territory. I scan the grids to look for Peterson, my grammar school at Byrn Mawr and Christiana and Von Steuben, my high school at Kimball south of Foster, near the apartment we once lived in at 5300 N. Christiana.
I do see the beehive tower at Northeastern Illinois University on Byrn Mawr, the rest of the campus and the rooftop of the WTTW complex down the block. The plane moves too fast for me to move up the street to Kimball and Glenlake, to locate the former Sweet home, a little ranch house on Kimball Ave. I catch Winston Towers, on Kedzie along the canal because they stand out as a cluster of high-rises.
The plane followsthe Kennedy Expressway. I see the Rose top water tower of Rosemont. The plane starts dropping lower over a Cook County forest preserve--I think it's the one at Elk Grove Township.
Lower, I see the signs pointing to 294 north. Touchdown.
"Welcome to Chicago. The local time is 11:05," the flight attendant announces.
For an hour today, I'm home. Home Sweet Chicago.