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12.18.2011

THE SPACE TO PEOPLE RATIO

Masses of humanity in one location can be a bit overwhelming.  At least for me.  My mom, on the other hand, would love nothing better to mix with the swell at say Times Square for New Year's Eve or sit among thousands to view fireworks.  There is definitely an energy that comes with a crowd.  A sort of exciting chaos created by sheer numbers.  I don't live in a large city.  My place of residence boasts of a whopping 51,000 in population within the city limit.  I have space to move.  Space to have a yard, a back patio, breathing room for a bit of privacy.  I rather like that.  In Chicago yesterday I noted to my husband that the people who lived in the condo above a retail store on the corner of State Street were watching TV.  They had front row seats to the bustliness of a busy Chicago street compounded by holiday shoppers such as myself.  On our walk down Michigan and State Street a woman dressed in running gear ran by us on the sidewalk.  I run.  That didn't appeal to me.  Stoplights at every block, people moving to and fro in your way.  It would be a lot of running stop and go.  I don't think I could ever clear my mind having to run in that environment.  It is amazing to me that people do and actually like it.  My husband and I watch HgTV's "House Hunters".  Not long ago there was an episode following a young couple wanting to buy a condo in a Chicago neighborhood.  Their budget, for this couple still in their mid-twenties, was $450,000.  Incredible!  On top of the condo that they purchased, was the cost of buying a parking space for another $20,000.  It is a world that I cannot imagine living in.  I have a two-car garage, a driveway that can easily park 6 cars if need be and a street in front of my property that is open for curb parking.  I don't pay to park where I lay my head down every night.  It could be the way that I was raised - on a farm.  My zen, my ooooohm place is open spaces - more space than people.  My husband said he would like to live in Chicago for one year just to experience it.  I would live absolutely anywhere with him because he is also my zen.  Exiting the train on arriving in Chicago yesterday the tide of humanity moved to get to street level.  Stopping at the first bathroom there was a line of woman coming out the door.  To go to the bathroom would have been a 30 minute wait.  To eat in the Walnut Room was a 3 1/2 hour wait.  To get across a street involved waiting with a small mob of people as cars honked angrily at each other for rude driving behavior.  I realized to live in a city of this size you could never be in a hurry.  You would have to adopt the philosophy of waiting to get anywhere or to do anything.  I'm not the most patient person in the world.  It's always a great experience to see different cultures, different ways of operating in life.  Then, it's always great to go home to a mere 51,000  people spread out over 21.4 square miles.

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